Monday, November 14, 2016

Early Human Evolution: Book Creator Project

In class this week we are working on our Early Humans Word Cards on the Book Creator app for iPad. Be sure yours are legible, neat, and all the information is accurate. You will be able to use them on our quiz.

Human Origins Study Cards

Objective: To show the progression of human evolution from Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens.

After reading the instructions for creating a set of Early Human word cards, use the following information to fill out each page of your Book Creator Book. Copy accurately and neatly. Check with me BEFORE looking for any images!

Ardipithecus ramidus ("Ardi") is one of the latest human species found. National Geographic magazine featured an interesting article last year that is worth checking out.

There are five major stages of human development:

What Ardipithecus probably looked like
Ardipithecus ramidus ("Ardi")
  • Lived about 4.4 million years ago
  • Walked upright on two feet (bipedal)
  • Had a grasping toe (for climbing)
  • About 4 feet tall
  • Human form of teeth for eating
  • Found in Ethiopia (Great Rift Valley)

Meet "Lucy" the Australopithecus

Australopithecus afarensis ("Lucy")
  • Lived over 3 million years ago
  • Walked on two feet (bipedal)
  • Human form of teeth
  • Brain 1/3 the size of a modern human
  • Found by Donald Johanson in Hadar, Ethiopia
  • Great Rift Valley

Homo habilis uses simple tools

Homo Habilis ("Handy Human")

  • Lived between 1.5 and 2.5 million years ago
  • Walked on two feet (bipedal)
  • Human form of teeth
  • Slightly larger brain than "Lucy"
  • Made simple tools
  • Found by Mary Leakey in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
  • Great Rift Valley

Homo erectus first leaves Africa
Homo Erectus ("Upright Human")

  • Lived between 1.8 million and 200,000 years ago
  • Walked on two feet (bipedal)
  • Human form of teeth
  • Even larger brain than Homo Habilis
  • Made more complex tools
  • Able to make and control fire
  • Left Africa for Europe and Asia

Homo sapiens first lived as hunter-gatherers
Homo Sapiens ("Wise Humans")
  • Live between 300,000 years ago until the present day
  • Walks on two feet (bipedal)
  • Human form of teeth
  • Largest brain of any human species
  • Makes the most complex tools
  • Ability to make and control fire
  • Makes clothing from animal skins
  • Buries the dead (has spiritual life)
  • Farms crops
  • Uses symbols/drawings to communicate (invention of language)
  • Lives on all continents

In class we started watching a PBS video of the show NOVA. The episode is called "Becoming Human," and it traces the earliest human ancestors to our present day species. The entire video is quite long, but in case you were interested in more than we got to in class, the entire show is posted in the previous Blog entry.

Also, here are a couple of websites that might be interesting to explore:

NOVA's official website for the "Becoming Human" show

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