Topics: History 103 Week 1 - Emazine - emayzine.com

The list is sorted by species, going from older to more recent species. Within each species, finds are sorted by the order of their discovery. Each species has a type.

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The list is sorted by species, going from older to more recent species. Within each species, finds are sorted by the order of their discovery. Each species has a type.

Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor

Many people assume that the dates scientists quote of millions of years are as reliable as our knowledge of the structure of the atom or nuclear power. And radioactive dating is so shrouded with mystery that many don’t even try to understand how the method works; they just believe it must be right.

But the basic concept of radioactive dating, sometimes called radiometric dating, is not difficult, especially since all of us regularly calculate how much time has passed: for example, since our birth, or since we started on a walk. A swimming race is a familiar situation that illustrates the simple principles involved in measuring time. Once we understand what we actually need to do we can apply the same principles to radioactive dating, and see if the methods do what they are claimed to do.

Picture a swimmer competing in a 1,500 metre race and an observer with an accurate wristwatch. We note that at the instant the swimmer touches the end of the pool our wristwatch reads 7:41 and 53 seconds. How long has the competitor taken to swim the race?

The following tables give a brief overview of several notable hominin fossil finds relating to human evolution beginning with the formation of the Hominini tribe in the late Miocene (roughly 6 million years ago).

As there are thousands of fossils, mostly fragmentary, often consisting of single bones or isolated teeth with complete skulls and skeletons rare, [1] this overview is not complete, but does show some of the most important finds. The fossils are arranged by approximate age as determined by radiometric dating and/or incremental dating and the species name represents current consensus; if there is no clear scientific consensus the other possible classifications are indicated. Deprecated classifications may be found on the fossil's page.

Most of the fossils shown are not considered direct ancestors to Homo sapiens but are closely related to direct ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the lineage.

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The team's research takes an innovative approach to integrating paleoclimate data, new fossils and understandings of the genus Homo , archaeological remains and biological studies of a wide range of mammals (including humans). The synthesis of these data led the team to conclude that the ability of early humans to adjust to changing conditions ultimately enabled the earliest species of Homo to vary, survive and begin spreading from Africa to Eurasia 1.85 million years ago. Additional information about this study is available in the July 4 issue of Science.

Potts developed a new climate framework for East African human evolution that depicts most of the era from 2.5 million to 1.5 million years ago as a time of strong climate instability and shifting intensity of annual wet and dry seasons. This framework, which is based on Earth's astronomical cycles, provides the basis for some of the paper's key findings, and it suggests that multiple coexisting species of Homo that overlapped geographically emerged in highly changing environments.

"Unstable climate conditions favored the evolution of the roots of human flexibility in our ancestors," said Potts, curator of anthropology and director of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "The narrative of human evolution that arises from our analyses stresses the importance of adaptability to changing environments, rather than adaptation to any one environment, in the early success of the genus Homo."