Blog Five

The connection between non-human primates and humans is obvious. There are various similarities between the two groups that provide anthropologists with evidence about human ancestry. There is a history of non-human primates that were strictly bipedal; in other words, hominins. Bipedalism is a trait that modern humans share with primitive hominins; for example, the genres sahelanthropus, orrorin, and ardipithecus. Though these groups are very still have a lot of ape-like features (long arms, smaller brain, large canines), they still share bipedalism with humans, so they share a common ancestor.

Another trait humans share with early hominins is dental anatomy. This is first noticed among the ardipithecus ramidus. These hominins still have larger canines, but the structure is closely related to incisors. Even more dental similarities to homo sapiens can be found among ardipithecus garhis. This species is a later hominin species. They share the same dental structure with human molars and closely resemble the front teeth anatomy.

Linking humans back through common ancestors can teach us how we came to be and why we are able to function the way we do. Evolution takes thousands of years to happen but human adaptation makes way for larger, permanent changes in the future.

Fossilized skeletal remains of early human ancestors can also help us learn about the history of humans, and all other species. Being able to study skeletal remains can provide important information about how species had to adapt to certain conditions to survive, what adaptations were beneficial and those that weren’t, whether or not human ancestors were bipedal or quadrupedal (based on attachment of spinal cord), the traits modern humans share with primitive hominins, the changes in biological structure to evolve into what humans are today, etc. Skeletal remains are like a history book. They are full of information that needs to be accessed.

“Where do we come from?” is a question that is asked often. Linking humans back through the remains of our ancestors can teach us how we came to be and why we are able to function the way we do. Evolution takes thousands of years but constant adaptation sets the groundwork for it.

4 thoughts on “Blog Five

  1. Hello,
    Hominins and their bone structure, including teeth are definitely a noticeable similar trait that are shared with humans. Before taking this class, I did not know that much specifically about the type of species that existed as hominins, such as the Ardi Ramidus. Learning that they have specific traits such as walking upright because of bipedal legs, and having very similar teeth structure was interesting. Although the ardi armidus has larger teeth, nonetheless, they can be viewed as closely related to humans. Fossils of human skeletons, and earlier hominins can help us to learn more about the biological and genetic area of our ancestors, and even what may come about in the future. That’s why I believe preserving fossils for anthropological research is important also.

  2. I like your opening paragraph and how it describes how we can still share a common ancestor no matter if the only thing we share is bipedalism. That is so interesting how are dental structure is almost identical to many apes because thing of the strength and sharpness of theirs and what they have to eat in the wild, then think of ours and how sensitive many humans can be to store bought food let alone hunting an animal in the wild like an ape. Great point on studying skeletal remains, this will lead our world into much better ways of learning how we can adapt into stronger and smarter humans. If our bodies don’t evolve and become better we wont be able to keep growing as a species.

  3. I’m always surprised to see how in sync we all are with one another about our thoughts about the topic at hand. I, too, found the bipedalism and the canine teeth to be very outstanding traits. With more specific attention to canines, I chose to talk about this trait because of my prominent canine teeth. Because of them, I rarely smile! However, after watching the lectures, I was so shocked to learn that this is a common shares trait with hominins and some are more prominent than others on said hominin.

    Furthermore, you highlight a very important question that is always asked: “where do we come from?” Depending on religion, beliefs, and science this answer is going to vary from person to person. I personally am conflicted about where human life began and how due to me growing up Christian.

  4. I completely agree that fossilized skeletal remains can help us learn about the history of humans. The dental remains of older hominins illustrate so much and tell us so much information. You can look at molars and canines and determine whether or not the hominin was a meat eater or a non meat eater. You can also see whether or not they used their teeth to fight off predators or other animals. There are many things that go with the observation of dental remains. Studying these remains can help us understand how we function and what other ancestors we may have. This is the point that I agree with you completely. These hominins are a good study for us to learn and understand ourselves and even better our ancestors.

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