Term Paper: Hominid Evolution

Pages: 8 (3018 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Evolution  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Farabee, M.J. Human Evolution. Available at http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/Farabee/BIOBK/BioBookHumEvol.html

Mammals originated from the ancient mammal-like reptiles prior to 200-245 million years referred to as Triassic Period. Most important forms of mammals evolved during the period including Primates -- the category that includes humans. The Primates are considered to be comparatively unspecific mammals: they do not have wings, have four limbs, unable to run fast, normally have weak teeth, and do lack armor or thick protective hides. The origination of primates as indicated by fossil records reveals to be in Africa about 30 million years ago. One section of primates grown to become Old and New World Monkeys while the other section into the hominoids. The Fossil hominoids were considered to have occurred in Africa in the Miocene era of the Tertiary period. A series of genus evolved in relation to the major climate fluxes in their habitats. Until recently, the hoinids were believed to have originated from ramapiths. The hominid genus actually developed from an ancestor not yet revealed.

The biochemical and DNA evidence, in absence of the fossil evidence reveals about a division of hominid from the hominoid line up prior to about 6-8 million years ago. The first of the human like hominids that is know to us, Australopithecus afarensis, appeared prior to about 3.6-4 million years ago. The Australopithecus ramidus is considered to be comparatively an older species originated about 4.4 million years ago and anatomically more ancient than Australopithecus afarensis. The problem of associativeness of the two species is yet to be resolved. The part played by Australopithecus afarensis in development of other hominids are still in debate. Before 2 million years, amidst insignificant change in the past so many million years, as many as about six hominid species developed against the climatic variations associated with the initiation of the Ice Age.

Two divisions originated, the australopithecines normally smaller brained and not considered as tools of the users and the other division that resulted in genus Homo, larger brained and makers and users of tools. The australopithecines vanished prior to about 1 million years. Home irrespective of their best endeavor they are prevailing. An incomprehensive fossil record the australopithecines, at least its miniature, Australopithecus africanus was taken to be the Homo. The current revelations however, resulted in a reassessment of the hypothesis. One pattern is found to be definite. The human qualities grown at different rates and at different times in a variety: some characteristics exerted immediately and some other evolved at a later stage. A cluster of species evolved about 2-2.5 million years ago in Africa. Homo in comparison to australopithecines had a larger brain and a dissimilar formed skull and teeth. Prior to about 1.8 million years the early Homo evolved to Homo erectus that is considered to be the ancestral species to that of our own.

With its origin in Africa, Homo erectus drifted to Europe and Asia. The characteristics that distinguished the Homo erectus from early species of Homo were larger brain size, flatter face and prominent brow ridges. The Homo erectus is identical to the present day humans in size, however, having some differences in the shape of the skull, a receding chin, brow ridges, and variations in teeth. The Homo erectus is considered to be the first hominid to entail evidence the social and cultural aspects of human development. Between 100000 and 500000 years ago the world population of an estimated 1 million Homo erectus disappeared, replaced by a new species, Homo sapiens. About one million Homo erectus were extinct and replaced by new species known as Homo sapiens before 100000 to 500000 years. It is still under question as to how, when and where this new species arose and how it replaced its predecessor.

Clarifying these questions is considered to be of stupendous task. Moreover, it has also been asserted in the Article that the Homo sapiens existed before 500000 to 30000 years demonstrating the features of both Homo sapiens and Homo erectus. Ever since the origin of Homo erectus the movement is considered to have been a fact of human existence assisting in dispersal of the genetic diversity along with the technological innovation. The most current innovations have not been material but rather cultural. Anthropologists are of the view that the New World was populated by a sequence of three movements over the land connection between Asia and North America. Irrespective of the fact that we are scientists or not it is of utmost importance that such evidences are required to be critically assessed and a favorable conclusion is to be arrived at. The Website provides us necessary materials on the origin of Hominids for imitating study on homonids. Since this is an Online Biology Book hosted by Estrella Mountain Community College the information is accurate and reliable.

Article-2. Broker, Stephen P. 'Hominid Evolution' by Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Available at http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1979/6/79.06.02.x.html

The Website hoisted by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute on Hominid Evolution reveals that the teaching of the process of evolution, irrespective of enhanced awareness, is considered to be the most difficult aspects of any biology class. The recommendation that man has evolved from varied forms of life is a bit confusing and more often refuted by the students as beyond belief. Since the evolution is a process involving the time element, it is necessary that the students should have an awareness of the degree of geological periods. The evolutionary process of mammals continued for 200 million years and there are ancestral primates understood to have existed about 70 million years ago. The article queries about the way one acquire some appreciation for the degree of time.

The article asserts that in the 1950s a book titled Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps approached the study of space in an interesting manner and presented the concept of space to be as harder to understand as that of the time. Moreover, presently and in a similar approach, Carl Sagan, the astronomer and writer has refined an effective method for the study of time. In formulation of his own cosmic calendar the student understands that life on earth has had a considerable amount of time in which to change. It is also quite helpful to look at generation time in comparison with the geological time in which to vary. Various organisms have the capability for reproduction at various rates. The generation time in humans also differs considerably with the competency for reproduction ranging from 12 to 18 years.

The geological epochs during which hominids and near hominids are to evolve with the Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs. The methodology for studying Hominid Evolution includes Comparative morphology, fossilization, Absolute and Relative Dating, Endocranial csts and microware of teeth and Molecular evolution. The method of comparative morphology is applied in analyzing the extinct forms of life whose skeletal remnants have been found out. Significant similarities reveal connection among earlier species and about the linkage of some species with that of the present period. The process of fossilization reveals that the hominid fossils found out from Africa, Europe, and Asia over the past 120 years is the result of mineralization. Such natural development happened with seeping of minerals into the hard tissues of animals or plants that had been accidentally resulted in by the seeping of minerals into the hard tissues of animals or plants that had accidentally wrapped by sediments.

Fossils are nothing but exact replica of the once living organisms. When an animal skeleton is fossilized the bone material is quite comprehensively substituted by the minerals. The method of relative dating in relation to another is applied in determining the age of a fossil. The sedimentary and volcanic formations at an undisturbed site is said to be progressively older as one goes deeper and deeper in analyzing the different layers. Amidst the past few years another technique for analyzing the hominids has been propounded. The process of fossilization often produces natural endocranial casts that conforms to the inner contours of the skull. Applying a technique developed by Ralph Holloway, synthetic polymer casts can also be prepared. Holloway has constructed casts of six South African australopithecine skulls as well as endocasts for East African australopithecine, Homo habilis from Olduvai, and the 1470 Homo habilis from Koobi Fora. The microwear of teeth of living and extinct mammals is studied by Alan Walker. He constructed epoxy replicas so as to examine under the scanning electron microscope for microscopic wear patterns by using the fossils and modern teeth.

The hypothesis taken for granted by the paleontologist is that the greater the differences in morphology between two species the more remote in time are the ancestor common to both species. The molecular evolutionists are of the view that this is equally true for the genetic and protein variations among the species. The article also reveals about the fossil records that are the key inventions of this Century. Moreover, the article also reveals about the present view points of Hominid Evolution. The progressive trends… [END OF PREVIEW]

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