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ANT 100Y Introduction To Anthropology

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ANT 100Y Introduction To Anthropology Question: Briefly summarize human evolution from the first bipedal hominid to modern day humans. What do you believe led to these evolutionary changes? Answer: Introduction Evolution of human is a lengthy process and this process later led to the evolution of modern day humans from the ape like ancestors. The scientific evidences have shown that the behavioural and the physical traits that are shared by the people now, all evolved from the ape like ancestors from over a period of six million years (Dettwyler 2017).   One of the earliest traits that are defined the human traits is the bipedalism. The ability of the humans to walk on the two legs started 4 million years ago. Another important characteristic of the humans is the large and complex brain, the capacity to learn language and the skills to make and use the tools. However, the earlier ancestors also possessed the characteristics of the symbolic expression through the art. The earlier ancestors also elaborated on the cultural diversity that emerged nearly 100 thousand years ago (Foley 2017). Earlier, it was seen that the bipedal locomotion is an adaptation of the grassland and the mixed woodland ecosystem. Studies have shown that the bipedalism was selected in comparison to the other forms of locomotion because the it was easier to see the long distances when travelling through the areas that were covered with long grasses. This was even helpful even during the times of watching the big cats and it was also found to be useful for scavenging for food. While an upright posture also helped in dissipating more body heat and it further helped in absorbing extra amount of heat from the sun. Also, longer strides helped in translocation to longer distances and it also helped in spending less amount of energy. Bipedalism obviously proved to be tough to climb trees, however it was beneficial and provided advantages over the natural selection (Langergraber et al. 2012). Evolution occurs when there are changes in the genetic material, DNA. This genetic material is inherited from the parents. Genes are actually the DNA segments that can provide chemical code and it helps in the production of proteins. However, it is also important to mention that certain in the native DNA can lead to mutation. Thus, the way the genes are expressed influences the organism’s behaviour. Genes affect an organism’s behaviour and the way it will develop during the entire time period of life. The likelihood of survival of an organism is dependent on the organism’s reproduction and survival. While, it is important to mention that the evolution of an organism does not depend on a single individual, but the evolution changes the entire population of the species (Jobling, Hurles and Tyler-Smith 2013). Conclusion The changes that were experienced by the parents is effectively transferred to the individuals. The genetic information passed to the offspring help the offspring to survive and sustain. Throughout the life, an individual experiences genetic changes and it leads to changes in the genetic material. Similarly, human evolution took place due to the genetic variations in the populations of the early ancestors and this favoured the humans to adapt to the changes and it altered the life of the humans. Reference Dettwyler, K.A., 2017. A time to wean: the hominid blueprint for the natural age of weaning in modern human populations. In Breastfeeding (pp. 39-74). Routledge. Foley, R.A., 2017. Evolutionary ecology of fossil hominids. In Evolutionary ecology and human behavior (pp. 131-164). Routledge. Jobling, M., Hurles, M. and Tyler-Smith, C., 2013. Human evolutionary genetics: origins, peoples & disease. Garland Science. Langergraber, K.E., Prüfer, K., Rowney, C., Boesch, C., Crockford, C., Fawcett, K., Inoue, E., Inoue-Muruyama, M., Mitani, J.C., Muller, M.N. and Robbins, M.M., 2012. Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(39), pp.15716-15721.

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