Becoming Human: Unearthing our Earliest Ancestors Part 1: First Steps 1.

What are some of the theories as to why bipedalism developed?

2. How does bipedalism save energy?

3. How long ago did humans split from the ape lineage?

4. What is the significance of Tumai?

5. What is meaningful about Selam’s skull size? What does it tell us about her development and relation to modern humans?

6. What can we tell about the lunate sulcus from Selam’s skull? Why is this important?

7. How can paleoneurologists draw conclusions about brain structures if the brain is not preserved in the fossil record?

a significant step in human evolutionary history? 10.What is the “Great Rift Valley” and why is it important? 12.8.What does the movie argue that the driving force of human evolution was? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Part 2: Birth of Humanity 1. What is the Broca’s area in the brain? 2.How large was the brain of Homo habilis? Why after millions of years of stasis. did brain capacity suddenly increase with Homo habilis? 11. What appeared in the fossil record about 2 million years ago that marked the “dawn of a new era”. Why were stone tools important? . What were the first stone tools? How can paleoparchaeologists tell that they aren’t just stones? 9.

3. and became more social? 6. What is one theory why Homo erectus has smaller teeth. What are some of the costs of a larger brain? 4. What was a key factor in causing humans to leave Africa? 7. a much smaller gut. What is “persistence hunting”? What did it allow humans to do? 5. What is the molecular clock and why is it important? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Part 3: Last Human Standing .

What do scientists research at Max Planck institute? 7. What two major climatic changes affected the evolutionary course of Homo sapiens in Africa? . How can paleoarchaeologists tell what the diet of ancient hominins was? 9. which hominin most closely resembles us? 6.1. Of all ancient humans. What was the first hominin species to migrate to Europe? 3. What does Turkana boy represent in terms of human evolutionary history? 2. Why do archaeologists think that the pit of bones was an example of one of the earliest burial sites? 4. What does the hand axe made of pink quartz found in the “pit of bones” suggest about human thought complexity? What do archaeologists think that their mental processes were capable of? 5. Which two parts of the Neanderthal brain are reduced in size? What does this signify? 8.

What makes us special? 16.What are the effects of Homo sapiens on large animal communities? 15.What is the significance of the FOXP2 gene? Do Neanderthals possess this gene? 14.Why is it so hard to obtain samples of ancient DNA? 13.Why do we have so little diversity at the genetic diversity? What is this phenomenon called? 11.Has evolution stopped? .What examples of early art were found at Blombos Cave? 12.10.

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