Blog 5

One of the most important hominin traits that we cannot ignore that is closely related to modern human biology are the bipedal legs of hominins. Because of this trait, it is why humans are bipedal specimens as well. What really stood out to me was the large big toe on the ardipithecus ramidus. This hominin was said to be located in Afar Depression of Middle Awash River Valley in Ethiopia, Africa. Most of its features are derived from human like features thus making them closely related to humans. It is the big toe of the ardi ramidus that has contributed to the evolutionary change of humans walking today. Its toe was described as a graping big toe to be exact. The importance of this is that it is known to offer stability to this species. Thus, humans have feet and two large big toes that probably are that way due to the ardipithecus ramidus having big toes. Though through evolution it has more than likely evolved to fit that of a human. Another trait that stood out to me, that I personally resonate with, are the canine teeth. Mine happen to be very prominent and sharp as described and pictured for this hominin. I was not aware of how important canines are, especially for us, humans, who are carnivores. Helping us to Depending on the hominin, prominence and size of canines vary. I think these traits are important to understand as humans because they continue to enlighten us of how closely similar we are to early hominins.

Hominin diversity has affected human evolution because as we viewed in lecture, some hominins walked using their knuckles while others were bipedal, or walked on their feet. Their diversity has also contributed to the difference is brain size and the way teeth are formed in humans through evolution. By this, we share a common ancestry with the ardi ramidus that has contributed to human evolution and through diversity amongst humans, we thus have the same diversity that can be related to how diverse hominins are.

Using fossilized remains, anthropologists can learn much about our past. Fossil remains allow anthropologists to answer questions such as which bones are likely to fossilize? What happens to plants and animals once they die? How have these bones or fossils been manipulated? Manipulation can occur through natural disasters or human involvement with the remains. Thus, using this same technique, anthropologists can determine the cause of death of a human, how long they may have been dead, and possibly the area, depending on the sediments present in the fossil remains, where the cause of death took place. Because humans share a common ancestry with hominins and their remains also fossilize in the same way, this in turn helps anthropologists studying the skeletal human remains. In short, I believe that the ardi ramidus should be discussed more at the college level as it is closely related to humans. When we here about bipedal legs on hominins we share a common ancestry with, it is a very broad topic and not specifically associated with a specific type of hominin.

4 thoughts on “Blog 5

  1. I think that is a very good point you bring up, that natural disasters and human involvement can manipulate remains. The earth is always moving and, as a result, stratigraphy can be messed with, putting rocks and fossils in the wrong places. Earthquakes and other geologic events can literally shake things up. Over time, hills, mountains, even continents can be moved great distances due to the processes by which the earth itself evolves. I think that is part of why it is so important that we have chronometric dating methods. Radioactive isotope decay does not lie, although there is a fair amount of variation that can occur with it that can make it somewhat imprecise. But, it is still close enough to give us a good general idea of the chronology.

  2. Hi!

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog post! I appreciate how you mentioned that fossilized remains can help anthropologists learn so much about our past as humans. It’s so interesting to me that fossilized human remains can tell scientists about how a hominin died, what they ate, what their life was like and so much more. It’s also really awesome that fossils can be used to help scientists form generalizations about a particular hominin species.

    I also think it’s really interesting how much of an impact that hominin diversity has had on the overall evolution of human biology. Prior to this course, I never really realized how many different hominin species there were or how different they all actually are. I also think that the differences in brain size among hominin species was really interesting.

  3. Hi,
    I agree that one of if not the most noticeable traits that are shared between hominins and our current human species is the aspect of walking upright. Bipedal legs are a big part of modern human biology, especially since it places a stronger need for our feet, bones, and structures of these parts. Learning about the big toe in the Ardi Ramidus provided even more of evidence as to why researchers compare human traits to those of earlier species that lived before our time. Learning more about earlier and later hominins definitely help explain a lot of parts of the human body, and to learn its functions. Fossils have also helped discover more of these species, which can lead to more knowledge on our future.

  4. I didnt address bipedal legs of hominins in my post as much as I would have like yet i completely agree with what you are saying. We cannot ignore the fact that these hominins are quite similar to us in many ways. One of these ways was the bipedal legs and this is why they are great things to study and learn from. We can learn about ourselves so much more just by learning about these hominins and use this information to realize how we work ourselves. The other trait i looked at was dental features and it explained a lot about the hominins. The teeth can tell us what the diet these hominins could have had. It could have also told us whether or not they had to fight off predators in their time.

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