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Australopithecus afarensis is considered the candidate for human ancestor by many researchers. 4.2 million years old Australopithecus afarensis can be separated in to two chronological categories early (3.9-3.5 myr) and late (3.5-2.96 myr). Two categories show many differences between each other. Fossils of this human ancestor were found in 1974 at Hadar Ethiopia. Material of this earliest species shows that this species was bipedal like humans. It also shows that gorillas and chimpanzees were also bipedal. This species was examined and studied by B. Asfaw, and T. White and named by the D. Johanson and T. White in 1978. Most important features of this earliest species are given as following

  • Heel strike
  • Well developed longitudinal arch
  • Big toe
  • Having post canine tooth rows
  • Large incisors
  • Gluteal tuberosity

Homo neandertalensis was discovered in Feldhofer grotto, in the Neander Valley, Germany. Its material was found in a limestone quarry near the city of Dusseldorf. Johann Karl Fuhlrott. Fuhlrott suspected these materials has close resemblance to human past. M. Boule and H. Vallois supported that human were similar intelligence as that species. These species have the following features

  • Nasal region with large face
  • Long cranium.
  • Small brain size.
  • Having small teeth.
  • Prominent brow ridges double arched.
  • Large cranial capacity over 1600cc.
  • Midface prognathism.

These features show affinity with human beings and hence this species is called as the later homo species from Genus HOMO.

As we have studied two species the second one Homo neandertalensis has advantage to its ancestor in developments of the body organs with new modification as given in the features of the two species. Australopithecus afarensis has large head and with large molars. Male species of Australopithecus afarensis was little taller than female.

Three main Hypotheses for the origins of the human have been put forward as following.

  1. Out of Africa: It suggests that genetic modification which are responsible for evolution of modern morphology occurred only once in Africa. Homo neandertalensis fits into situation as this species persists in modern population of humans.
  2. Replacement Model: It says that all modern population has migrated from a single local that replaced the earlier hominids when come in contact.          
  3. Multi-regional model: It suggested that these species evolved by the result of the interbreeding for a long time of period.

These all models argued in the favor of the evolution of humans from early Australopithecus afarensis to modern human’s species as Homo neandertalensis.

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