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Acheulean tool industry
the production of more complex tools, including hand axes, by H. erectus from 1.6 million to 200,000 years ago.
archaic Homo
the period of time that precedes the emergence of the earliest early modern humans (Homo sapiens) around 300,000 years ago.
biface tools
a type of tool characteristic of the Acheulean tool industry, with both sides worked.
Broca’s area
a region in the frontal lobe of the brain (which includes two Brodmann areas) first found in H. habilis and connected with the production of speech.
canine fossa
a facial depression above the canine tooth found in modern humans.
an interaction between different species that influences each species’ evolution; the simplest case of this is predator-prey relationships.
cranial capacity
the volume of the interior of the cranium or skull, providing an approximate size of the brain.
increased brain size over time.
encephalization quotient
a measurement defined as the ratio between brain and body size.
endocranial cast
an impression taken from the inside of the cranium (braincase), frequently used by paleoanthropologists to determine the shape and approximate size of the brain in hominids and other primates.
evolutionary mismatch
a hypothesis that disease and nutritional deficiencies result when people’s bodies are unable to adapt to an environment that they have not spent most of their evolutionary history in.
the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism.
ghost population
proposed group for which no fossil evidence has yet been found.
the process of attaching stone points to a handle, which increases a tool’s effectiveness for hunting.
the use of a dominant hand, suggests lateralization of the brain and cognitive development.
intentional burials
evidence of placing the dead in a specific manner, suggesting ritualistic practice.
island dwarfism
mainland small animal species that colonize islands might evolve larger bodies if the island does not contain key predators. On the other hand, larger species may become smaller due to more limited resources in an island environment.
lithic reduction
the process of fashioning stones or rocks into tools or weapons by removing some parts.
substance that determines the color of skin pigmentation and protects people from ultraviolet radiation. Skin will have higher levels of melanin the closer to the equator one lives.
Mitochondrial Eve
genes traced through mitochondrial DNA that represent the female genetic originator of all humans who lived 200,000 years ago in Africa.
Mousterian tool industry
a complex stone tool technology largely associated with the Neanderthal.
the DNA located in the mitochondria that can be passed down unchanged from female genetic contributor to child.
“mitochondrial most recent common ancestor,” or Mitochondrial Eve, representing the common ancestor of H. sapiens around 200,000 years ago.
occipital bun
an anatomical feature seen in the Neanderthal skull that appears in the rear of the skull.
Oldowan tool Industry
the oldest and most primitive tool industry; production and use are largely in association with H. habilis.
Out of Africa theory
theory that proposes that Homo sapiens developed first in Africa and then spread around the world between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.
postcranial features
skeletal material found in the body that is not related to the skull (cranial bones).
sexual dimorphism
differences in physical characteristics other than reproductive organs that appear between males and females of the same species.
an adaptation that allows the body to control and regulate body temperature.
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