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Transcript of Paleoanthropology
Paleoanthropology is the study of our old ancestors through their remains, artwork, or footprints.
Paleoanthropologists have helped show that humans evolved from monkeys.
Lucy was about 3.2 million years old and it is a perfect example of where we as humans came from and evolved into what we are now.
Geology, archeology, and paleontology are sciences that contribute data to paleoanthropologists.
Paleoanthropology a definition
It is a way that humans understand who they are and where they came from
It shows the evolution of a human
It is important to know how our ancestors lived, this can help show why humans behave or die a certain way.
Why is Paleoanthropology important?
Tanya Marie Luhrmann
Professor at Stanford in the Anthropology Department.
She focuses on the way that ideas held in the mind come to seem externally real to people, and the way that ideas about the mind affect mental experience.
One of the last project is “compares the experience of hearing distressing voices in India and in the United States.
Richard Leaky was born on December 19th, 1944 in Nairobi, Kenya. Both his parents were both involved with paleoanthropology. His father, Louis Leakey, was a curator at Coryndon Museum in Kenya
Mary Leakey, was the director of excavations at Olduvai Gorge in Kenya
Richard dropped out of high school when he turned 16. He started a business collecting animal skeletons and selling them to institutions. He met a man named Kamoya Kimeu who helped him with his business and who would continue to be an important member of his excavation team in later years.
The skeleton collection business evolves into a Safari business and Richard starts to fly over a part of Kenya called the Olduvai Gorge.
From the air he spots potential fossil locations. With his mother’s support, he goes on an expedition with Kamoya Kimeu. They have some successful finds. However, Richard is limited by his lack of formal education and in 1965 he goes to England to pursue a
degree. After spending six months completing his last two years of high school, Richard decides to return to Kenya, rather than go to college.
Once back in Kenya, Richard continues to work alongside his parents and becomes involved with the National Museum of Kenya (NMK). After Kenya became an independent country in 1963 the Coryndon Museum changed its name to the National Museum. Richard works in political conflict with his father to improve the museum. He eventually becomes the director of the NMK.
In 1967 Richard is included in a joint French, American and Kenyan excavation in Ethiopia. The Kenyan team, which includes Kimoya Kimeu, finds a Hominid fossil which is believed to be the oldest human fossil. The bones found by the Kenyan team are called Omo 1 and the bones found by the American team are called Omo2. Modern dating techniques used in 2005 to determine the age of the bones have dated the bones to be 195,000 years old. This is an important discovery in the field of paleoanthropology because it pushes back the previously estimated “dawn of modern humans” back
Kibish in Ethiopia
In 1968 Richard is funded by the National Geographic Society to pursue his own excavation site in Kenya.
Richard’s team makes two significant finds, a Homo rudolfensis skull (KNM ER 1470) in 1972 and a Homo erectus skull (KNM ER 3733)
in 1975. These fossils are
an important to the
question “What does
it mean to be human?”
Lake Turkana Discoveries
The most significant find by Richard Leakey’s team was a fossil known at the Turkana Boy. This skeleton was found by Kamoya Kimeu in 1984. It’s an almost complete skeleton of a 9-12 year old Homo ergaster . The boy is estimated to have died around 1.6 million years ago.
Shortly after the discovery of Turkana Boy, Leakey and his team made the discovery of a skull (KNM WT 17000, known as ”Black Skull”) of a new species, Australopithecus aethiopicus (or Paranthropus aethiopicus).
Richard Leakey is important to the field of Paleoanthropology because his discoveries have helped to shape our current understanding of the evolution, anatomy and behaviors of early humankind.
• Paleoanthropologist in China team lead by Min Zhu, uncovered a 419 million year old fish fossils
• The fish Entelongnethus Primordialisis had the earliest known version of jaw and face bones. The fossils were complete with bones still jointed (8 inches long) with bony skeleton.
• As the earth was changing in the time period of Silurian when Pangaea was breaking up, through Devonian time period the animals where evolving
• Fish started evolving teeth, jaws and faces & by the end they began forming fingers and toes to allow them to be on land.
First face? Prehistoric fish