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05.03 Primate Evolution (virtual lab)

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by

Kyran Attaf

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of 05.03 Primate Evolution (virtual lab)

Which Species Does It Resemble?
Hypothesis
I believe the species this unidentified fossil skull most closely resembles is
Australopithecus Afarensis
which is an extinct hominid.
Forehead
The angle of the forehead is more vertical.
The brow ridge above the eyes are large.
The forehead does extend out above the eyes.

Face
The shape of the face is sloped.

It’s located toward the rear of the skull.

(BC/AC) x 100 = Supraorbital Height

Unknown Fossil Skull
BC= 3.39cm, AC= 6.60cm
51.4cm= Supraorbital Height

Pan Troglodytes (Modern Chimpanzee)
BC= 3.34cm, AC= 6.08cm
54.9cm= Supraorbital Height

Homo Sapiens (Modern Human)
BC= 6.10cm, AC= 9.01cm
67.7cm= Supraorbital Height

Homo Erectus (Extinct Hominid)
BC= 4.14cm, AC= 6.96cm
59.5cm= Supraorbital Height

Australopithecus Afarensis (Extinct Hominid)
BC= 3.15cm, AC= 5.92cm
53.3cm= Supraorbital Height

Horizontal Line XY
On this skull the Frankfurt plane is the horizontal line labeled XY.

The line which goes through the Australopithecus Afarensis is high to low, because it’s higher than all and lower than all.
05.03 Primate Evolution
(virtual lab)


The teeth are long and sharp.

It’s more oval and the edges are pointed. This skull’s brain cavity resembles the one that Pan Troglodytes (modern chimp) has, but while its edges are pointed, Australopithecus Afarensis’ edges aren’t as pointed.
Teeth
Foramen Magnum
Brain Cavity
Reflection Questions
Procedure
Safety Notes
Was your hypothesis correct? Which of the four species does the unidentified skull most resemble? Predict how you think it may relate to the other species in terms of evolution. Justify your answer with specific observations.

Yes my hypothesis was correct. My unidentified skull most resembles the Australopithecus Afarenisis (extinct hominid). Before it was just visual observation why I created this hypothesis, but after measuring the skulls, it's evident that my unidentified skull mostly resembles the Australopithecus Afarenisis due to its measurements as well. I believe it relates to the other skulls because they may all originate from common ancestors from really long ago. With time passing they've evolved and more types have came into existence and other ones have became extinct.


How do the shapes of the face, forehead, and teeth differ between the various species?

The shape differ between all species. One species may have small eyes, other ones have big eyes. There may be one that has their eyes on the inside of their head and other ones with eyes that go out of the head. Some have the foramen magnum on the rear of the skull others have it in the front. A few have big sharp teeth, while others have small dull teeth. They may differ, but all originate from the same ancestors.

What do you think accounts for these differences? How might some of these differences be possible adaptations?

I believe the way they're structured benefits them where they live. For example humans have small dull teeth which is good for chewing food, while other animals such as lions have sharper teeth that benefits them when they have to bite and tear their food apart. Because they all originate from common ancestors, they are similar to each other. Although there may have been many types, many are extinct today, but a few have evolved. It also might be from their ancestors.

In what way do you think the location of the foramen magnum relates to the movement of each species?

I believe that it relates to the movement of the species because if it's in the front the species might have more movement than if it where in the back. For example, humans are able to rotate their heads to the front, back, as well as to the sides easily, I don't believe that the species with the hole in the back are able to do so easily. The foreamen magnum relates tot the movement of each species as well because the spinal cord is connected to the brain and that's what sends signals to the body in order to move.
What might the shape of the skull and the supraorbital height tell us about each species?

It tells us which gender the species is and what it's capable of. It may also tell us how old the species has existed.



Skulls need to be handled with care and delicateness.
Materials
Skull casts
4 known species and 1 unknown

Calipers
Purpose
All of the skulls have different features. Even though they might be related and similar in some ways, all skulls are unique. Imagine if there wasn't any diversity and everyone would be the exact same.
First, observe each skull from the front and record observations. Then, observe and record the observation of the sides of the skulls. The features that need to be recorded are the face, forehead, teeth, foreamen magnum as well as the shape of the brain cavity. Questions you may want to ask yourself when observing are the following: How is the shape of the face, is it sloped and flattened or vertical. Are the teeth sharp, dull, long or short? Does the forehead extend out above the eyes or not?

How to determine the supraorbital height:

formula: (BC/AC) x 100 = Supraorbital Height

Measure the distance of AC. Then measure the distance of BC. Record them and use the formula to figure out the supraorbital height. Record them in the data table.
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