Learning Objectives

  1. Compare and contrast the particular characteristics of early hominids that differentiate them from apes.

  2. Explain how differences in the skull and teeth of apes and hominids reflect dietary differences.

  3. Explain the anatomical characteristics of hominids that reflect bipedalism.

  4. Compare the three major hypotheses for the origin of bipedalism.

  5. Explain the benefits and costs of bipedalism compared to quadrupedalism.

  6. Identify the ways in which the pre-australopithecines were transitional between apes and later hominids.

  7. Explain the importance of Ardipithecus for our understanding of human evolution.

  8. Describe the differences in anatomy and chronology between the robust and gracile australopithecines.

  9. Recount the argument and evidence that australopithecines rather than early Homo were the first tool-producers.

  10. Locate on a map the major sites at which fossils of pre-australopithecines and australopithecines have been found.

  11. Explain the trends in anatomy that differentiate late australopithecines and early Homo.