member of our genus Homo, Homo habilis

Last week we looked at the origin of humans, finding evidence of bipedalism as early as 6-7 million years ago in the fossil record. You met the first member of our genus HomoHomo habilis. This creature still looked somewhat like apes in that they had slightly longer arms and were short in stature, but they started to develop more modern traits, like a dramatic jump in brain size and wider fingers for greater dexterity in tool making. This week we meet Homo erectus, the first human to really look like us. A human with the capacity to run long distance, hunt, and travel out of Africa.


Early Members of the Genus Homo

Explorations: Chapter 10 (Links to an external site.)

  1. Wong, K. (2006, June). Stranger in a New Land. Scientific American Special Edition, 16(2): 38-47.


1. Homo habilis & Homo erectus Power point. See files.

2. Required film Becoming Human Part 2 (Links to an external site.)  

3. Homo habilis & Homo erectus video lecture (Links to an external site.)  


1. Primate Adaptation Paper: This is a research assignment that should be written based on the provided resources and your scholarly journals from the library. This is an objective discussion of a single living primate that explains what traits they have that make them fit into the order of primate, what physical traits they have that are  adapted to their environment, and what behavioral traits they have that are adapted to their environment. Please click on the assignment link for full instructions.

Choose ONE living primate species from the following website.  Use this information for morphology. In formal essay format, answer the following prompts about your primate:

1. Introduce the paper topic, including the scientific name of your primate, their general location/environment and provide a clear purpose to your paper through a thesis statement.
2. Discuss what makes your primate a  member of the primate order. (Refer to “Classification of Primates” lecture where I discuss general primate traits like 5 digits, opposable thumbs, etc). You do not need to cite information in this section if it comes from the lectures and textbook.
3. Discuss the SPECIALIZED morphological (physical) characteristics that your primate has  which has allowed it to adapt to their environment. Make sure to explain why these features are adaptiveYou want to analyze how the environment lead to these adaptations. (This section should be informed by the primate website provided above, if you use other resources, cite and reference them properly in APA).
4. Discuss the social behavior of the primate you have chosen in terms of what makes those specific behaviors adaptive in this primate’s environment. You want to analyze how the environment lead to these behaviors being adaptive (This requires one new scholarly journals from the library.)

5. Provide a conclusion

Please use AT LEAST ONE academic journal, outside resources to support your behavior research and make sure to cite properly in APA style. Paper should follow style instructions listed in the syllabus including a cover page, times new roman font size 12, double spacing, 1 inch margins, and APA citations and references.

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