More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
Human Evolution: Past and Future
John Hawks, University of Wisconsin
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Early Hominins
Notes taken on November 14, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
all modern and extinct great apes including gorillas, chimps, orangutans and humans
any species of early human that is more closely related to humans than chimpanzees, including modern humans themselves
Carol Ward
professor of anatomy at the University of Missouri in Columbia
worked in the field in Kanapoi, Kenya
at the southern end of Lake Turkana
examined the question what is it about bones in the skeleton that tell us about how ancient creatures moved and lived
Micocene apes
23 to 5 million years ago
arboreal orthogrady
using an upright posture to move in the trees
not specialized like African apes
they could stand upright
there used to be hundreds of great apes
Ardipithecus ramidus
4.4 million years ago
an anatomy not much like Australopithecus afarensis
walked upright some of the time
but not committed to terrestrial bipedality like Australopithecus was
the most important species of early hominins
the first evidence of bipedal locomotion
what did adaption favor them to do
what did selection train them to do
Australopithecus anamensis
4.2 to 3.9 million years ago
regular bipedal walking
East Africa
follows Ardipithecus
probably walked on two feet
we don't know if it
had a grasping big toe
had a big brain or small brain
have some jaw bones
getting better at chewing, using their front teeth less
something changing in their diet
don't know their habitat
there one thing you can be sure about any new fossil, it's not going to be what you expected
one thing we understand when looking at bones is how ligaments were attached
Australopithecus afarensis
3.85 and 2.95 million years ago
Lucy's species
remains from over 300 individuals
old and young
male and female
we know most about this species
they walked on two feet
they lost the grasping big toe
we are the only primates that don't have a grasping big toe
that's a really useful thing to have if you are climbing in the trees
this tells us that walking upright on two feet was so important, for our survival and reproductive success, that they lost this incredibly useful ability of climbing trees
it involved a sacrifice of giving up the grasping toe
many theories
being able to stand up to see over the tall grass
thermal regulation
display among individuals
to me, the only reason you wouldn't use your hands to walk with was maybe you had something in them
carrying objects, food, tools
the hand
very human-like
but the fingers are not very human-like
very adapted to climbing, has muscularity
the shift to Homo
you have to look at a fossil animal as if it never left any descendants
we look at Lucy and see that
her fingers were curved and longer than ours
her wrist bones were not quite like our are
we conclude she was not as good at being human-like
so they must have been doing something else
they had the flexor pollicis longus in the forearm as humans do which allowed them to oppose the thumb powerfully
special to humans
they have grasping hands unlike the ape
homo sapiens and afarensis have retained climbing ability
you have to ask where these changes came from
perhaps throwing became important
using tools