Flat- Faced Early Humans

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120808-human-evolution-fossils-homo-nature-science-meave-leakey-flat/

Fossils found a few years ago in Lake Turkana, Kenya that date back to less than 2 million years ago show that at least one of our ancestors was flat- faced, meaning little prognathism and less of an ape- like face. The time that this species was alive proves that there were at least two forms of “non- erectus” species living at the same time in the same location.

Homo Sapiens, Meet Your New Astounding Family

I found this awesome article on discover magazine! It’s quite remarkable and gives us great insight on our origins and other possible theories behind human evolution.

http://discovermagazine.com/2011/may/25-homo-sapiens-meet-new-astounding-family

It was commonly accepted that our ancestors originated from the Africa, specifically the Great Rift Valley Region ( place of huge tectonic plate disturbance). Now science and new research has delved further into our birthplace and has revealed to us new and profound discoveries.  “Homo floresiensis” also known as the “hobbit people” have been found to migrate out of Indonesia, shattering the decades old theories of humans originating solely from Africa. It is interesting that their existence coincided with Homo Sapiens and perhaps other humanoids. The usage of paleogenomics and other analyses have shown a broad and far genealogy behind DNA of the past and present. Amazingly, the article mentions that 25% of genome populations outside of Africa are Neandrathal. Also, other humanoid speices have left their genomic mark on the population today. This correlates to the class because it combines it combines the three points on the triangle, which are biological, cultural, and environmental factors that come into the play throughout human evolution. Also, the article engages briefly into Neandrathals, something also mentioned in the class. This article I thought was thoroughly written, it incoporated scientific as well as anthropological aspects behind the development and eventual rise of humans. Also the addition of valid references from anthropology and genomics experts helped further reinforce the article’s facts and theories.

How Fossils Helped Determine when Humans and Apes Diverged

I also found this article on the National Geographic Channel website and i thought it was a good topic to chose because we discussed fossils a lot. Also, it gives us information about neandertals which was our common ancestor from 500,000 to 600,000 years ago. The part about the parasitic DNA that caused human mutation about 2.8 million years ago fascinates me, along with learn about how humans came about through all the years.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/08/0823_020823_humanorigins.html

– John Hildebrand

 

 

Doubt of Interbreeding with Neanderthals

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/aug/14/study-doubt-human-neanderthal-interbreeding?INTCMP=SRCH

This is an interesting article that refutes the idea that our Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals. A few years ago, evidence was found that showed there was shared DNA between us and Neanderthals. Scientist at the University of Cambridge are saying that the shared DNA is not a result of interbreeding but is the DNA of our shared ancestor, Homo heidelbergensis.

Changes Overtime in Skulls

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080317-neandertal-split_2.html

I found this article on the National Geographic Channel and thought it was very interesting since we have been talking about this with all the different species in our summer course. Its interesting because all skulls change in size according to the species, some might have narrower skulls, some might be wider than others, there all sort of different things. Not everyones skull is going to be exactly the same, which makes it more unique .

-John Hildebrand

 

 

More Evidence for Multiple Lines of Evolution in Our Genus Homo

Here is an interesting article from the New York Times website about the history of our Genus, Homo:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/science/new-fossils-indicate-offshoots-in-human-family-tree.html?ref=fossils

Recent fossil evidence shows that there was likely to be at least two other species of the Homo genus living at the same time as Homo erectus in east africa (about 2 million years ago). This is good evidence towards the view that the evolution of the homo genus is not so simple and straightforward as previously thought by some, but that there are multiple lines of evolution within our genus. I find it interesting how there is relatively little consensus between scientists as to our origins. It just goes to show that it is not easy to figure out what happened in the past.

Paranthropus

According to research, one main reason for the extinction of the genus Paranthropus was quantity and lack of space. More Australopithecus took up the survivable habitats of Africa. However, if there was more area and food for them to have lived, Anthropologist said that Paranthropus would have developed into the species as smart as humans, for they had the largest brain capacity for their time. Theoretically, there would have been highly intellectual gorilla like species.

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/anthropology/v1007/2002projects/web/paranth/paranth.html

The Japanese Macaque

After watching “Life in the Trees” by David Attenborough in Unit Two, I became interested in learning more about the Japanese Macaque.  I went on Youtube and found a short, 5-minute video on these interesting monkeys…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhM_v5SOPaI

These monkeys reside in the Japanese Alps where temperatures drop to -4 degrees Fahrenheit.  The Japanese Macaque has dense, thick layers of fur that help it withstand the brutal temperatures.  They are clever primates that have acquired different ways of foraging for the limited food in the region.  The Japanese Alps were made by volcanoes that are still active.  Within the volcanoes exists hot, thermal springs that the Macaque’s flock to avoid the brutal cold.  The springs reach a staggering 106 degrees Fahrenheit, but not all are welcome to enjoy the ‘spa.’  The Japanese Macaque’s have a rank-based society.  Only the highest ranking Macaque’s and their infants are welcome to enjoy the springs.  Others are forced out if they try to trespass.  Throughout the video, the monkeys groom one another; this promotes social cohesion (Unit Two).  Overall, I truly enjoyed this video.  I learned a lot more about this interesting monkey; this video portrays how the Macaque’s had to adapt to such irregular extremes, through time and space.  Visibly, they are successful.

The Movius Line represents the crossing of a demographic threshold

http://replicatedtypo.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/the-movius-line-represents-the-crossing-of-a-demographic-threshold/

I have found this article while I was searching for an interesting article about the Movius Line.

The article gives interesting insight to the current development regarding the situation around the Movius Line, where initially the lack of Acheulian hand axes and Levallois core traditions in East Asia made the Movius Line the segregation of technological differences between Asia and the Old World. However, new discoveries in East Asia involved the much missed hand axes that essentially makes the Movius Line obsolete. While the initial argument by Hallam L. Movius lost chunk of its ground, a recent paper introduces interesting interpretation that Movius Line is still valid for the following reasons: Findings of hand axes in East Asia are geographically sparse when those in the Old World tend to be concentrated; handaxes comprise only a small percentage of recovered artifacts in East Asia when the handaxes make up majority of the findings in the Old World.

The Movius Line we learned in class is one of the fascinating phenomena of anthropology where sudden segregation occurred with no clear-cut purpose.

While I did not have time to study the new paper in its entirety, the researchers’ main points made me wonder if their argument is totally original or just forcing the traditional view despite exciting discoveries. Hand axes had not been found for a long time in East Asia that Movius Line was created, so one can easily assume that if hand axes are ever found in East Asia, they may not be huge in number. While their argument still seems possible because of difference in concentration of occurrence of advanced tools west and east of Movius Line, it can never be absolute fact now that some hand axes are recovered in East Asia.

Movius Line is still an intriguing subject to me considering there is more to be found and argued about its validity.

 

 

 

‘Most significant’ fossils in N.S. found by family walking dog

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/most-significant-fossils-in-n-s-found-by-family-walking-dog-1.917481

This article is mainly about a family living in Nova Scotia out for a walk with their dog has found the most significant piece of fossils. i found it when i was browsing online news and I thought this is really interesting and rare.

In the lecture, we have spent a lot of time talking about how fossil evidences prove the existence of some creatures and where they have been found also plays an important role in history as well.

The interesting part about this article is when the fossil evidence was found, the family was walking their dog and they did not even overlook the rock they saw. And after one week, they also found another one. This is kinda coincident. Maybe those fossils are meant to the found by that family.