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Bio L3 Human Evn

NCEA Level 3 Biololgy Human Evolution AS 91606

TermDefinition
ape A large primate that lacks a tail.
Australopithecus afarensis An extinct hominin located in Ethiopia, which lived between 3.7 and 2.9 million years ago. (*Lucy*)
hominid The great apes, humans and all species of bipedal human ancestors.
hominin All living and fossil species belonging to the human lineage (i.e. a sub-group of hominids).
Homo erectus An extinct species of hominid that originated in Africa, which spread as far as India, China and Java, about 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago.
Homo habilis An extinct species of upright East African hominid having some advanced human-like characteristics.
Homo neanderthalensis An extinct member of the Homo genus known from specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia.
Homo sapiens A bipedal primate having language and ability to make and use complex tools and a brain volume at least 1400 cc. The only surviving hominin.
Paranthropus A genus of southern African robust hominids. Specialised for a bulky, low grade vegetarian diet, with large teeth, powerful jaw muscles and a robust skull with large crests for muscle attachment.
climate The conditions of weather, including temperature, rainfall, etc prevailing in an area or over a long period of time.
diet The kind of food and organism habitually eats.
habitat The environmental area in which an organism lives.
nomadic Populations which move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. May relate to seasonal conditions and food availability.
savannah Grassland with scattered trees.
selection pressures The environmental and competitive factors that influence the kinds of traits that best help a species survive.
sexual dimorphism Distinct differences in size or appearance between the sexes of an animal.
biological evolution Changes in the gene pools of populations from generation to generation.
bipedalism Using only the hind-limbs for locomotion.
Broca’s area An area in the brain associated with speech production.
brow ridge A bony ridge above the eye socket.
canine A pointed tooth located between the incisors and molars.
cerebellum Part of the brain important for co-ordination of movements.
cranial vault The space inside the skull occupied by the brain.
dentition The arrangement or condition of the teeth.
dexterity Skill and grace in physical movement especially in the use of the hands.
diastema A gap in the rows of teeth in a mammal’s jaw.
facial angle The angle of a line drawn from the forehead to the protruding part of the jaw; gentle in Homo sapiens (flatter face), steeper in apes and species with a protruding muzzle.
foramen magnum Opening at the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes. Its position indicates whether the body posture is normally horizontal (apes) or vertical (humans).
great toe Also called ‘big toe’. In apes this is opposable and diverges from other toes. In humans it is in line with other toes and is not opposable.
molar The grinding teeth at the rear of the jaw of mammals.
nuchal crest A bony ridge across the back of a skull to which neck muscles supporting the head are attached.
opposable thumb A thumb that can be placed opposite the fingers of the same hand. Opposable thumbs allow the digits to grasp and handle objects and are characteristic of primates.
sagittal crest A ridge running lengthwise along the top of a skull, to which jaw muscles are attached.
valgus angle The angle formed by the femur with the pelvis allowing the knees to be closer together than the hip joints. Much greater in humans than apes.
Wernicke’s area The area of the brain important in understanding spoken and written language.
zygomatic arches The parts of the skull through which jaw muscles pass. Very large in some apes and some groups of hominins.
abstract thought The ability to think beyond the ‘here and now’; e.g. reflect on experiences, connect ideas, make predictions.
Acheulean tools A style of stone tools shaped by flaking (especially in a tear-drop shape) and with fine edges worked on both sides. Associated with Homo ergaster and H. erectus.
art/decoration Ways of communicating ideas and expressing emotions symbolically (H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens).
burial Neanderthals buried their dead in a way which showed signs of rituals, including burying symbolic objects with the deceased.
cultural evolution Changes in learned information over time. Transmission of ideas, beliefs and knowledge by learning from other members of the group.
domestication Selective breeding of plants or animals by humans.
gathering (from hunter-gatherer) Obtaining food only from wild plants and animals (in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species).
Mousterian tools A style of stone flake tools having some degree of symmetry, mostly small hand axes. Typically associated with H. neanderthalensis.
Oldowan tools The oldest-known stone tools, being flake and pebble tools with shaping being mostly only an edge formed by chipping stone. Associated with Homo habilis.
social organisation A group of hominins who co-operate and partake in daily activities that require cultural solutions.
Upper Palaeolithic tools Finely-worked tool, made for specific purposes (e.g. arrow point, fish hooks), made from a range of materials. Associated with the last of the Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.
fossil evidence The remains of an animal or plant preserved from an earlier era inside a rock.
mtDNA Found inside mitochondria; passed along only the female line; unaffected by recombination in sexual reproduction -> rate of change in mtDNA indicates the evolution of a species over long period of time.
Multiregional Theory Theory that Homo sapiens evolved from different groups of Homo erectus in several regions of the world, with gene flow occurring between them.
Replacement Theory (also called ‘Out of Africa’ Theory) Theory that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and then moved out of Africa, replacing regional populations of other related species as they went.
carbon dating To estimate the age of (an object of plant or animal origin) by radiocarbon dating.
Homo floresiensis A short, lightweight Homo species with a small brain but advanced features, found on the Island of Flores, Indonesia.
Neolithic tools Specialised advanced tools, made from a range of materials for specific purposes, including use in agriculture. Used by Homo sapiens only.
endocranial Inside the cranium, i.e. relating to the brain.
nuclear DNA The DNA inside the nucleus (contrast mtDNA).
comparative dating Determining the relative ages of preserved objects. Older strata (layers) are always below younger ones. Also called relative dating.
dispersal The movement or spread of individuals from an original location.
permanent settlement Living in a single location continuously (contrast nomadic).
archaic humans A term for some Homo species predating H. sapiens; often includes H. neanderthalensis, Denisovans, H.heidelbergensis
modern humans Homo sapiens
Homo heidelbergensis An extinct member of the Homo genus, whose skulls share features with H. erectus and H. sapiens, and which may be the link between them.
Homo naledi An extinct species recently discovered in South Africa, with features intermediate between Australopithecus and Homo.
Ardipithecus Genus of early bipedal hominins, with small brains and skeletal adaptations for tree climbing.
Australopithecines Early hominins belonging to the Australopithecus, Ardipithecus and Paranthropus genera.
Homo ergaster An extinct African Homo species, often considered to be part of H. erectus.
Homo georgicus An extinct Homo species found in Georgia (at the boundary of Europe and Asia). Often considered to be part of H. erectus.
Created by: nztcowen