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Anatomically, we are very similar to apes and even to monkeys But we are not identical: Humans are fully bipedal, for example, while chimps are not. We have two arches in our foot; chimps do not. Therefore we need to compare our own anatomy with (a) other living primates and (b) fossil hominin forms.

Structure of the Brain

Frontal Lobe: The lobe that allows us to think and plan ahead Motor Cortex: The strip along the edge of the motor cortex that moves the facial muscles (lips, tongue, vocalization) and the arm, hand, and finger muscles Parietal Lobe: The lobe that enables us to touch and taste

Structure of the Brain

Occipital Lobe: The lobe of the brain that enables us to see Temporal Lobe: The lobe that enables us to hear Olfactory Bulb: The part of the brain that enables us to smell

The Motor Cortex

Lower part: The strip regulates the facial and oral muscles They include the tongue, the lips, the organs for vocalization, and the jaws These are related to the speech function Upper part: The strip regulates the arm, the hand, and their fingers These are related to the tool manufacture and use functions.

Parts of the Brain: Motor Cortex

Related to Language: Lower Part Lips Tongue Vocalization Related to Tool Making and Use: Upper part Fingers and Thumb Hand Arm

Language Functions of the Brain

The language functions all occur on the left hemisphere of the brain. Brocas Area functions to process the generating of speech Notice that it is located at the base of the motor cortex, which handles the tongue, vocalization, and lip movements Wernickes Area functions to process the reception of speech Notice its location in the temporal lobe,which processes hearing

Language Functions of the Brain: Description II

The angular gyrus is the part that coordinates all the sense functions housed in the brain They coordinate the senses of sight from the occipital lobe, of the touch and taste of the parietal lobe, of the smell from the olfactory lobe, and of hearing from the temporal lobe Its function for language is to translate all the sensory information into the sense of hearing so we can assign meaning to speech.

Parts of the Brain: Language Centers

Parts of Cerebrum Frontal Lobe Motor Cortex Brocas Area Temporal Lobe Auditory Cortex Wernickes Area Arcuate Fasciculus Parietal Lobe Occipital Lobe Angular Gyrus

Human Skull: A Description

The forehead is high, making room for the frontal lobe The skull is rounded, allowing a greater volume for the entire brain There is no brow ridge or supraorbital torus The jaw does not jut forward; it is not prognathous

Human Skull: Bones that Cover the Lobes

The bones of the skull are named after the lobes they cover The frontal bone covers the frontal lobe The parietal bone covers the parietal lobe The occipital bone covers the occipital lobe The temporal bone covers the temporal lobe Refresh your memory: what are each of these lobes for?

Human Skull: The Diagram

Note the following: High forehead Rounded skull No brow ridge Chin is present Teeth are small The bones are named after the lobes of the brain they cover

Comparative Primate Anatomy: Human and Chimpanzee

In the next diagrams, the differences are significant to biological capacity for culture The area for brain of a chimp is more limited than human brain because of its sloping forehead and the heavy supraorbital torus that covers much of the forehead The chimp jaw has a prognathism absent in humans Chimps have larger canine teeth than humans; so much so that there is a diastema (gap) for the opposite canine to fit.

Skull Morphology: Chimp and Human

Note the following Larger brow ridge (supraorbital torus) of chimp compared to human Sloping forehead of chimp compared to human More prognathous (jutting) jaw of chimp compared to human Larger canine and gap (diastema) of chimp compared to human

Comparative Brain Structure: Human and Chimpanzee

the human brain has a Brocas area for processing speech. The chimp brain has a Brodmans area, where calls may originate, but no speech Our Wernickes area, which receives speech, is at the same place as the planum temporale among the chimps The chimp brain is much smaller than humans400 cubic centimeters compared with our 1400 cc. The frontal lobe of the chimp is smaller than the humans, partly owing to the sloping forehead

Human and Chimp Skulls Compared: Brain Structure

Compare the following Chimps brain is much smaller (400cc vs. 1400cc) It has reduced frontal lobe It has no Brocas or Wernickes area It does have Brodmanns area 10, where calls may originate but no speech It does have planum temporale, where calls are receivedbut not processed as language

What This All Means

Our brains are larger than the chimps We have a well-developed frontal lobe We have well developed language areas: Brocas and Wernickes area The motor strip is more well developed among humans than among chimps


Comparative Anatomy: Hand Structure

Our fingers are straight; that of the chimps and other apes are curved We have a much longer thumb than do the apes Importance: we are capable of a more precise grip than the apes This implies that we can make finer tools than those apes who can make and use tools

Human Hand Structure: Diagram

Note The Following: Our digits are straight Our thumb is opposable The thumb is long

Ape and Human Hands: Diagram

Hands of orangutan, chimpanzee, gorilla and human Note the following: Our thumbs are longer than the others We can make a finer grip than the others can Less visible: apes digits are curved, ours are straight

Power and Precision Grip

Note the Following: Power grip: Fingers and thumbs wrap around the object Precision grip: Forefingers and thumb hold the object Importance: We can do finer work compared to nonhuman primates

Chimp and Human Locomotion Compared

Vertebral Column and Pelvis

Note the following: Human vertebral column is S-shaped, supporting the upper torso Chimp vertebral column is bow-shaped Human pelvis, with ilium, is bowl-shaped; muscles from the thigh keep him upright Chimp pelvis is long, with flat ilium

Pelvis and Femur

Longer ilium of chimp Shorter, more curved ilium of human Straight vertical orientation of chimp femurs, which do not support the upper body well Inward angle of human femurs, which support the upper body more efficiently

Foot Structure

Note the following: Large toe of chimp foot (right) is opposable to other digits Large toe of human foot (left) is aligned with other digits Ankle bones (tarsals) of human food are larger and more rigid than the chimps

Foot Arch: Longitudinal and Transverse

Note the following: Longitudinal arch that runs from the first metatarsal to the calcaneus (heel bone) Large tarsals to the rear contribute to the rigid structure of the foot and its arch Transverse arch can be inferred from lower placement of outside foot to the instep

Chewing Mechanism

The next diagrams compare human dentition (structure of teeth) with that of the chimps Our overall dental arcade (arrangement of teeth) is more rounded (arc-like) than the chimps Chimpanzee have a more rectangular dental arcade, with the back teeth more parallel Our teeth are much smaller than the chimps We have small canines (jagged teeth) Chimps have large canines, so large that they need a gap (diastema) in the opposite jaw for them to fit

Human Dentition: Diagram

For each jaw (upper or maxilla or lower or mandible: Incisors (4) in the front for cutting food) Canines (cuspid) (2) for piercing Premolars (4) for light grinding of food Molars (6) in back for heavy grinding of food

Chimp and Human Dentition

Note the following: Dental Arcade: Humans are arc-like; apes, parallel back teeth Canines and Diastema (gap): Apes have larger canines and gaps in opposite jaw to fit them; humans do not

Muscles of head and neck - human ancestors had larger, stronger jaw muscles attached to the skull which would be expected with a diet rich in fruit and plants.

Muscles of head and neck

Human ancestors had more muscles connecting the skull, neck, and shoulders/back which caused their neck and skull regions to appear to sag,These diminished muscles allow the human head to be held in its current upright position and lets the occipitofrontalis muscle, or the forehead, to function as an aid to expressions

Muscles of Upper body/back

Humans became taller as the years passed after becoming bipedal which lengthened back muscles at the base of the tail bone and hips which in effect made them weigh more, further hampering their abilities in the trees

Muscles of Upper body/back

It is well known that the Homo sapien line of primates developed the opposable thumb which opened the door to many muscle functions not yet possible in the hand and other upper body regions The stretching muscles of the forearms whose tendons allowed the human to concentrate its force and abilities within his/her hands and fingers contributed to great new abilities..

Overall, upper body muscles developed to deal with more activities that involved concentration of strength in those muscles such as holding, throwing, lifting, and running with something to assist in escaping danger, hunting, and constructing habitats and shelters

Muscles of Lower body/below waist

By having to center the force of gravity on two feet, the human thigh bone developed an inward slope down to the knee

gluteal abductors to adapt to the stress and build the necessary muscle.

This allows the human to manage their balance on a single foot and when in-stride during walking..

Muscles of Lower body/below waist

The plantaris muscle grab and manipulate objects like chimps do, has adapted to its new evolutionary role becoming so underdeveloped that it cannot grip or grab anything, the foot has grown more elongated as a result and now 9% of humans are born without it.



Gait is the pattern of movement of the limbs of animals, including humans, during locomotion over a solid substrate Human gait is defined as bipedal, biphasic forward propulsion of centre of gravity of human body, in which there is alternate sinuous movements of different segments of the body with least expenditure of energy.

Bipedalism vs. Quadrupedalism

Homo sapiens is the only mammal capable of bipedalism, or the ability to stand and walk entirely on two feet. Kangaroos stand on two feet, but they hop rather than walk and their forepaws are too small for any function. Chimpanzees can walk on two feet, but not very efficiently; they are closer to quadrupedalism, or the ability to move around on four feet.

Bipedalism: Diagram

We are the only mammals that can stand and walk on two feet Apes are semi-bipedal, but use their knuckles to get around (top photo) The bottom photo compares the quadrupedalism of a human with that of a chimp Notice the human is on his knees, not just his feet The chimp is using its hind feet, not its knees.

Advantages of Bipedalism

Efficient locomotion Freeing of hands for many proposes: Foraging and hunting/scavenging Tool making and use Care and provisioning of offspring Increased height for viewing across landscape: Tracking migrating herds Predator avoidance


Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down


plantigrade locomotion means walking with the podials and metatarsals flat on the ground. The leg of a plantigrade mammal includes the bones of the upper leg (femur/humerus) and lower leg (tibia and fibula/radius and ulna). Humans are an example of a plantigrade species.

1)stability and weight-bearing ability; 2)plantigrade feet have the largest surface area.

1)With more bones and joints in the foot, the leg is both shorter and heavier at the far end, which makes it difficult to move rapidly.


Orthograde is a term derived from Latin [ortho (upright) + gradi(to walk)] that describes a manner of walking which is upright, with the independent motion of limbs.


Monkeys are primarily arboreal, and they have a tendency to walk with their limbs swinging in parallel to one another. This differs from the manner of walking demonstrated by the apes. Chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans, when walking, walk upright, and their limbs swing in opposition to one another for balance (unlike monkeys, apes lack a tail to use for balance). This upright locomotion is called "orthograde posture".


Matt Cartmill, Fred H. Smith The Human Lineage pg-110-130 Grays Anatomy 40th edition page no.- 546,661 Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology 12th edition