Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans
Lecture 4 – Hominid Paleobiology
by Tim D. White, PhD
2013 Genomics: Cancer and Autism
2012 Earth History/Climate Change
2011 Human Evolution
2010 Infectious Diseases
2006 Stem Cells
2002 Genomics/Chemical Genetics
2001 Sex Determination
2000 Biological Clocks
1999 Infectious Diseases
1998 Cardiovascular Diseases
Lecture 1 – Human Evolution and the Nature of Science
Lecture 2 – Genetics of Human Origins and Adaptation
Lecture 3 – Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Behavior
Lecture 4 – Hominid Paleobiology
Discussion – Genetics of Bitter Taste Perception
Discussion – Reporting Scientific Results to the Public
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Start of Lecture 4
Profile of Dr. Tim White
Introduction to Part 1: Our Last Four Million Years
Video: Rift Valleys of Africa and Plate Tectonics
Geography of the Afar Rift
A tour of the Middle Awash study area
Video: Floods Supply Sediments for Fossil Formation
"Drilling down" in the Middle Awash
Using volcanic rocks to date sediment
Scope of Middle Awash project
Sites and findings of the Middle Awash project research area
Zooming into Herto village, a site of hominid fossil discovery
Paleoanthropology: From discovery to publication
Building research capacity in Ethiopia
Testing a hypothesis by comparing skulls
Video: The Delicate Process of Excavating and Cleaning Fossils
Herto skull compared with modern human skull
Evidence of stone tool use by Herto man
Bodo man from 0.5 Myr and Daka man from 1 Myr
Invention of stone tools affected human evolution
from 2.5 Myr used stone tools
"Lucy" and other australopithecines, 4.1–3.2 Myr
lineage, 4.2–2 Myr
lineage, 2.7–1.2 Myr
expands from Africa, 1.8 Myr
Neanderthal lineage in Europe, 0.6–0.03 Myr
: An 18,000-year-old extinct species
How many species are in the human family tree?
Did adaptive radiation occur in human evolution?
The big picture: Hominid evolution from ~4.2 Myr to the present
Q&A: How has our diet changed from our ancestors' diet?
Q&A: How can you tell the age of the individuals?
Q&A: How can you reconstruct a skull from an incomplete fossil?
Q&A: Advantage of a small brain for our most recent relative?
Intro to Part 2:
and Our Place in Nature
Lamarck's ideas as the roots of the savanna hypothesis
Darwin knew chimpanzees did not evolve into humans
: A hominid close to the common ancestor
Central Awash Complex: Where
Video: Dung Beetles and Their Fossilized Evidence
Fossils of many types of animals found at the "Ardi" site
Discovery of hominid bones from 4.4 Myr
Video: Hardening Fragile Fossils for Extraction
Returning solidified fossils to museum
Reconstructing past environment from fossil evidence
Early hominid skeletons
Comparing "Ardi" with "Lucy"
Digitally reconstructing "Ardi" skull and what it tells us
Comparing pelvises: "Ardi," "Lucy," human, and chimpanzee
Comparing hands: "Ardi," human, and chimpanzee
Comparing feet: "Ardi" and primates
Making sense of "Ardi's" characteristics
Teeth as indicators of behavior
Chimpanzee-human common ancestor was not a chimpanzee
Why human medicine must be evolution minded
Evolution's perspective: Geographic range and preferred habitat
Humans are the sole surviving hominid species
Q&A: Procedures to be followed to get permission to dig?
Q&A: Why should validity of our beliefs be based on a theory?
Q&A: What will the chimpanzee-human common ancestor be like?