Becoming Human Worksheet
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How many millions of years ago did humans diverge from apes? 6 million years ago As recently as 50,000 years ago, there were _4_ different kinds of humans. What species of Homo migrated out and populated the Middle East? _Homo erectus _ What species of Homo migrated out and populated Europe? _Homo neanderthalensis_ List major physical differences between these two species:
Homo sapiens Homo neanderthalensis larger brain
Which ancestor pioneered what it means to be “human”? _Homo erectus_ When did Homo erectus first appear on the African plains? _2 million years ago_ Who was the first group who had bodies like ours, lived in social groups, and cared for each other? _Homo erectus_ Who is Turkana boy?
What did the wave of Homo that led to Indonesia give rise to? dwarf homo erectus
How far back have the fossils of Homo erectus from China been dated? _700,000 years ago_
What might the artifact found in the “Pit of Bones” at Atapuerca represent (in addition to the obvious use as a tool)? hand ax, it was an offering
Why would the presence of this artifact (and its implications) be important to our understanding of human evolution and of Homo sapiens? Members of Homo sapiens more closely related to
Compare these two species:
H. neanderthalensis H. sapiens
larger Brains short heavy set Body hunters Food Source Why are the teeth of children particularly helpful in providing information about extinct hominids? It tells us how fast they were growing up
How are the sizes of the parietal and temporal lobes of H. neanderthalensis different from that of H. sapiens? Why would it matter? slightly smaller. Important for cognition. limited thinking powers What specialized hunting tools did Neanderthals lack?
throwing spears and arrows
When did Neanderthals vanish from the fossil record?
25,000 years ago
Skulls of Homo sapiens start to appear in the fossil record approximately _200,000 yrs ago_. What was happening to the worldwide climate about 200,000 years ago? cooling. much of Africa became a desert
If the forests and savannahs of Africa were no longer habitable, where did human ancestors have to seek refuge? coasts and highlands
While it is agreed that Homo sapiens experienced a population bottleneck, there is disagreement on the actual size of the remaining population. Some researchers argue for thousands, but others believe population dropped as low as _600_. Systematic use of coastal resources indicate what changes in brain and thought processes? cognitive complexity
Technology expanded from the simple hand axe to what type of tools? points, chissles
The 1st evidence of decorative/symbolic art has been found at levels that date to _75,000_ years. As the climate improved, Homo sapiens migrated where? _asia, europe_. What evidence could provide support for the assimilation/interbreeding hypothesis? fox P2 human version is unique. Identical to neanderthals
Is the gene for speech and language development in H. neanderthalensis the same as the version in H. sapiens? Yes
Which species might have been the common ancestor of both H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. Homo heidelbergensis
When scientists count up mutations to determine how long 2 species have been diversifying, they are applying a__. According to the NOVA program, is there any evidence of Neanderthal DNA in our genes? no
What two stressors might have contributed to the extinction of Neanderthal? climate swings limited technology/ high energy need
How can archaeologists track the movement of humans across Europe, Asia and Australia? extinction of large animals
What is the “mysterious creation” unique to humans? culture
Current understanding of human evolution is not just based on bone fragments from Africa! As you watch the PBS video, pay attention to how different fields of study (particularly modern methods and technology) have helped inform what we know about human evolution. For each of the fields below, provide specific examples from the video of ways that knowledge/methods in that field contributed to or enhanced our understanding of human evolution. Art Archaeology Climatology Genetics Geology Physiology
(hint: energy budgets) Molecular Biology Chemistry Brain Science 3D Imaging The password for the Becoming Human quiz is “turkana”.