What is mosaic evolution and why is it an important consideration
1. What is mosaic evolution and why is it an important consideration when studying human evolution?Using examples from the fossil and archaeological record, describe patterns of mosaic evolution in relation to bipedality, encephalization, dental morphology, and material culture.
2. Sociality is a relatively uncommon feature in nature. Discuss two hypotheses that have been proposed to explain primate sociality. Using examples, discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of living in social groups.
3. Describe the range of primate residence patterns, and use a specific primate to illustrate each. Relate these social groupings to food and reproduction.
4. What is Sexual Selection? How does this theory help us understand the relationship between anatomy and behavior? Use examples of specific primates to illustrate.
5. Compare and contrast the temporal and geographical distribution of the genus Australopithecus to illustrate how these species inform our understanding of anatomy, ecology, and hominin origins.
6. Discuss the anatomical, physiological, and cultural changes associated with the emergence of Homo erectus. How does Richard Wrangham’s “Cooking Hypothesis” propose to explain these changes? What fossil and archaeological evidence supports his hypothesis? Use examples from lecture, section, or your readings to support your argument.
7. The Middle Pleistocene (780 – 120 kya) has often been referred to as the “muddle in the middle,” due to the array of hominins in Africa, Asia, and Europe at the time. Discuss these hominins and what is known about Middle Pleistocene culture, including information about technology, settlement, and subsistence.
8. Wrangham argues that cooking freed hominids from the constraints of chewing. In addition, fire extended the day and the created new opportunities for the use of space. Compare and contrast these differences to those limitations experienced by chimpanzees and, presumably, earlier hominins ancestors.
9. Using evidence from well-known sites such as Shanidar in Iraq and Krapina in Croatia, describe the life of Neanderthals living in Europe and western Asia during the last “Ice Age.”
10. Describe the morphological changes associated with obligate bipedality. Discuss where and when these changes first appear in the fossil record, as well as the environment within which such morphological adaptations occurred.
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