StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Australopithecines - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Australopithecines

Many changes in the physical environment contributed to the evolution of these early humans.
Australopithecines comprise a genus of primitive hominids that resided in Eastern Africa about 4.2 million years ago. Many scientists think that some of the australopithecine species are direct ancestors to humans. Others believe that the Australopithecines represent a branch of hominids from which humans evolved, but are not directly related to humans. There several established taxonomic methods for classifying the australopithecines, but the four most frequently acknowledged species are Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus robustus, and Australopithecus boisei (Chardin). The species can be differentiated, because A. robustus and A. boisei have bigger bones and are more "robust" than A. afarensis and A.africanus (O'Neill).
Most species of the Australopithecus were not any more adept at using tools than modern primates. But, Australopithecus garhi seems to have been the most sophisticated, because its remnants have been discovered near tools and slaughtered animal carcasses, which suggests the advent of a highly antediluvian tool conception. This caused many scientists to infer that A. garhi must be the predecessor of the Homo genus, even though recent deductions held that A. garhi was merely competition to the ancestral Homo species.
The brains of most Australopithecus species were barely 35% the size of the modern human brain (Foley). Most species of Australopithecus were small and gracile in nature, often standing no more than 1.2 meters in height (Wikipedia). Fossil records seem to indicate that Australopithecus is the ancestor of a specific classification of hominids, known as Paranthropus, but are not direct ancestors of the genus Homo, which encompasses modern humans. Both the Paranthropus and Homo genera have proven to be more progressed in behavior and customs than the Australopithecus, which were hardly more than bipedal chimps. It is still widely accepted that only the descedants of Homo would go on to generate language and learn how to use fire.
Though opinions certainly vary in regards to whether the species aethiopicus, boisei and robustus should be placed within the genus Australopithecus, the scientific community currently places them in the genus differ as to whether the species aethiopicus, boisei and robustus should be included within the genus Paranthropus. Paranthropus is thought to have originated from the Australopithecus lineage. Until recently, many scientists classified all Australopithecus species within a single genus. Paranthropus, because it was larger and more robust, was physically different from Australopithecus, and its superior anatomy implied that its behaviors might have been very different from that of its ancestor. The more diminutive and gracile forms such as Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus afarensis are commonly assumed to be the closest relatives to humans. But, some studies have shown that Australopithecus africanus had a body shape more similar to that of the modern apes than to the members of the genus Homo.
Still, the gracile australopithecines are considered to be the earliest known true hominids, because australopithecines and humans are biologically similar enough to be classified in the family Hominidae (Nickels). Australopithecines ...Show more

Summary

The word "hominid" refers to "any of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals comprising recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms" (Merriam Webster). Hominids are included in the super-family of apes, the Hominoidea, in which the members are referred to as hominoids…
Author : beahanoma
Australopithecines essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Australopithecines"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Be an Anthropologist Exercise 1
How we look, think, feel, believe, interact, and all of the things that make us the species that we are, studying this is the goal of anthropology. Anthropology is literally the story of us; all of mankind. As often as many people would like to think that they are the driving force behind their own existence, it is, in fact, evolution that is artist that creates the design.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Choose one of the following
Most terrestrial mammals use four limbs for locomotive a purpose that is they are quadrepedal humans and other great apes (though circumstantially) use their limbs to locomotive purposes. Fossil evidence of hominid ancestor’s bipedalism is constructed to imply that it existed about 3.5 million years ago and among living primates, only humans are bipedal.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Discussion Of The Article About The Australopithecus
Australopithecine is a general term for members of the Australopithecus genus, and other humanlike primate inhabitants of Africa, that existed between 6 and 1.8 mya (million years ago), as evidenced by their presence in the fossil record. Their remains have been found at a number of sites in eastern, central, and southern Africa.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
2. Discuss the evolutionary trends in the genus Homo. Start with the transition from early Homo to Homo erectus and end with the Neanderthals. Be sure to include the temporal and geographic distributions of the various species of Homo as well as any perti
It is most likely that our ancestors mated with other members of closely related species hence the inheritance of genes. A popular theory claims that human beings evolved from Africa and spread to other parts of the country about 100,000 years ago. At
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Anthropology
They became extinct; it is not in doubt their close semblance to the early human ancestors. Experts in Hominid research refer to them as man-apes and also ape-man this is because they have features of the two groups,
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Write an essay that identifies and discusses the many selective pressures leading to bipedalism in our ancestors and us
In addition, the thermoregulatory model attributes the emergence of bipedalism to selective pressures related to reduced water requirements, reduced heat
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Prehistory and Ancient Civilizations
, the relevance of these transition from the early man to the modern homo sapiens as well as a detailed description of the Paleolithic and Neolithic era. In the history of human evolution, this is a pre historic period distinct with primitive tools of stones. These tools
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Evidence For Hominid Evolution
Starting from the modern human skull, our ancestors showed resemblance in terms of physical and genetic characteristics. Humans (hominids) belong to order Primates that has more than 23o species of apes, monkey and lemurs. The
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Ardipithecus ramidus paleobiology and comparison with other australopithecines
Ardipithecus ramidus had reduced canine and premolar concept, and consumed predominantly on plants. The evidence from this fossil remains provides a much sought link between the earliest Hominidae and the current man, revealing the origins of
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Discussion
Hominids were creatures resembling human beings who descended from apes. The hominids were differentiated from other animals like monkeys with their uniqueness. They walked upright and they had large brain than other animals in the universe. The hominids also had
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us