Chapter Learning Objectives

What Is a Hominid?

  • Compare and contrast the particular characteristics of early hominids that differentiate them from apes.
  • Explain how differences in the skull and teeth between apes and hominids reflect dietary differences.
  • Explain the anatomical characteristics of hominids that reflect bipedalism.

Why Did Hominids Emerge?

  • Compare the three major hypotheses for the origin of bipedalism.
  • Explain the benefits and costs of bipedalism compared to quadrupedalism.

Who Were the First Hominids?

  • Identify the ways in which the pre-australopithecines were transitional between apes and later hominids.
  • Explain the importance of Ardipithecus for our understanding of human evolution.
  • Describe the differences in anatomy and chronology between the robust and gracile australopithecines.
  • Recount the argument and evidence that australopithecines rather than early Homo were the first tool producers.
  • Locate on a map the major sites at which fossils of pre-australopithecines and australopithecines have been found.
  • Explain the trends in anatomy that differentiate late australopithecines and early Homo.