Becoming Human

While viewing the Becoming Human documentary, answer these questions (create a post on your domain site). Don’t just google quick answers, try to get them from the documentary. I swear it will not only be faster, but you will gain more knowledge by thinking about these in context.  Put your work in a word or text document that is saved on your computer first (copy in the questions), then copy/paste the completed work to your site later.  Use complete sentences and give thorough answers.

  1. When and where was Lucy discovered? How old is Lucy? What species is she? Why was the discovery of the Lucy fossil so important?
  2. What is a hominid? 
  3. What impacts did a changing environment on earth have on hominids? What was the environment like towards the end of the Miocene (10 to 5 million years ago)? What were some consequences of this?
  4. Who is our closest living relative? Does this mean we evolved from this species?  Why is the “missing link” concept between humans and apes living today a false idea?
  5. What is bipedalism? What is its importance in hominid evolution?
  6. What is the Turkana boy fossil and why was he important? Describe some of its anatomical features. What is his age? What did he eat?
  7. What are some similarities and differences between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens?
  8. Why did Homo erectus leave Africa and populate other areas of the globe?
  9. Carol Ward says that “Selection favored habitually terrestrial bipediality”. What selection pressures favored humans walking on the ground over swinging in trees?
  10. What is the major question about the evolutionary relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans? Explain the different ideas/conflicts about this. Compare the ideas of Paleoanthropologists Ian Tattersall and Cathy Willermet.
  11. Africa was the only place that human evolution took place for the first three or four million years of hominid existence. The first species to spread into new continents was Homo erectus.  There are different theories about how our species, sapiens, spread across the globe.  Compare the Out of Africa theory to the Multiregional theory of modern human evolution and dispersal.   
  12. Scientists have discovered and investigated finger engravings in Australia, 24,000 years ago. What might these findings mean for human evolution?  What can we learn from studying people still living today, such as the Aboriginal people?
  13. Building shelters, hunting, tool making, controlling fire, language, wearing clothing, burying the dead, making art- all of these give us clues to our early cultural evolution. How can studying our past cultural evolution help us determine what our place is (or should be) in nature today? 
  14. Explain whether thinking about the evolution of hominid species alters the way you think about human beings in general or yourself.