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Social Sciences
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Fossils of Homo Species (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
Anthropology Assignment (Worth 25% of the semester) We would like you to write a 6-10 page report (double spaced, 12 point font) on one of the fossil specimens or tool industries that we have looked at in class. Potential topics include one of the fossils of Aridpithecus, Australopithecus, Paranthropus, Homo species; Oldewan, Acheulian, Mousterian, or Upper Palaeolithic tool industries. We want you to introduce the species/industry, identify where these specimens were discovered, who first discovered them, and any controversy about them. We would also like you to include a map and any information on the range of places the species or industries are found, as well as the time range (based on the actual published dates) they are attributed to. We expect 6 primary references (peer reviewed journals or books) and please find and refer to the actual published papers in scientific journals, not textbooks. You will be marked on accuracy, content, adhering to the outline, and referencing skills. If you need help with referencing, please go to the writing centre. I suggest you ask someone to read your assignment before you submit it to ensure it reads well and the grammar and spelling are correct. The assignment is due November 24. Examples of primary journals are: Journal of Human Evolution, Science, Nature, Journal of Physical Anthropology, NOT Scientific American or Discover. Websites and textbooks will not count. source..
Content:

Fossils of Homo Species
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Fossils of Homo Species
According to scientists, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists among other scholars, human beings evolved gradually through numerous stages to their present stage of Homo sapiens sapiens. Human evolution can be defined as the evolutionary history of genus Homo that includes the emergence of Homo sapiens not only as a unique category of hominids but also as a distinct species. Fossils and fossil evidence for that matter provides proofs to scholars and other interested people in human evolution that human species had existed in earlier years in different forms. Fossils also provide the evidence that human species had existed in various activities and how they adapted to their environments during different stages of evolution. Various fossil specimens or tool industries include those of Australopithecus, Acheulin, Aridpithecus, Upper Palaeolithic tool industries, Mousterian, Oldewan, and Paranthropus among others. In this discussion, the fossils of Australopithecus will be discussed.
Australopithecus is a term derived from Latin word australis which means southern and Greek word pithekos which means ape. It is a genus of hominids that is now extinct. Leakey (1994) argues that Australopithecus genus evolved in eastern Africa around 4 million years ago before spreading later on throughout the African continent and eventually becoming extinct around 2 million years ago. Leakey goes further to note that during this time there were different forms of Australopithecus and they included Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus sediba, and Australopithecus africanus. According to Lewin (1999), Australopithecus is made up of the aforementioned species that fall under two general types; that is, robust forms and gracile forms. Numerous findings have suggested that robust forms existed from 4- 1 million years ago while the gracile forms persisted from 4 - 2 million years ago. Most archaeologists and paleontologists hold that the australopiths formed a critical part in the evolution of human kind. To support their position, they argue that one of the australopith species eventually evolved into the Homo genus in Africa in a period around 2 million years ago which within it contained species such as Homo ergaster, Homo habilis and eventually the modern species of man, Homo sapiens sapiens Lewin (1999).
In regard to the features associated with Australopithecus, Scarre (2005) explains that their brains were roughly 35% of the size of that of a modern human brain. He adds that they were 3 feet 10 inches to 4 feet 7 inches tall. Besides, among several Australopithecus variations there was a significant degree of sexual dimorphism with that of males being larger than those of females. Regarding their diet, the study of Australopithecus fossil teeth have suggested that they were largely frugivorous. Th...
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