Loading...

BIO312: Evolutionary Biology

Unit 7: Human Evolution   The origin and evolution of man are to some the most interesting, but also a controversial part of the evolutionary biology. As you will see in the lectures below, human evolution could be traced from the early Eutherian (Placental mammals) to the origin of primates, great apes and finally hominins. Based on the comprehensive studies in paleobiology, anthropology, anatomy and phylogenetic analysis, we have learned that modern humans (Homo sapiens) have a long lineage of ancestral species, dating to the first bipedal hominins, four million years ago. Homo sapiens appear in the record only around 100,000 years ago and it is the only surviving species of this lineage. Extensive studies of the DNA sequences show that humans are most closely related to chimpanzees and belong in the same broader clade with gorillas. The last recent common ancestor of today’s chimps and humans probably lived in Africa, about 7 million years ago.

Unit 7 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 4.5 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - describe the evidence for human evolution; - compare and contrast characteristic of modern humans and present living great apes; - explain the evidence for the evolution of bipedalism; - describe the main lineages in the human evolutionary history; and - analyze the scientific debate about the origins of Homo sapiens.

7.1 From the Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Human Evolution” Link: Wikipedia: Human Evolution (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the summary of human evolutionary history on
these excellent webpages and review the key features of the extinct
Hominids. In addition, visit the “timeline of human evolution”
sublink. Reading this text and taking notes should take
approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/).

7.2 Human Origins   - Lecture: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Tim D. White’s “Lecture 1: Human Evolution and the Nature of Science” Link: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Tim D. White’s Lecture 1: Human Evolution and the Nature of Science (Flash)

 Instructions: Watch this lecture.  

 Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 45
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Dr. Sarah A. Tishkoff’s “Lecture 2: Genetics of Human Origins and Adaptation” Link: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Dr. Sarah A. Tishkoff’s Lecture 2: Genetics of Human Origins and Adaptation (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Dr. John J. Shea’s “Lecture 3: Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Behavior” Link: Howard Hughes Medical Institute:  Dr. John J. Shea’s Lecture 3: Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Behavior (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Dr. Tim D. White’s “Lecture 4: Hominid Paleobiology” Link: Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Dr. Tim D. White’s Lecture 4: Hominid Paleobiology (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Unit 7 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Assessment”

Link: The Saylor Foundation’s [“Unit 7
Assessment”](http://school.saylor.org/mod/quiz/view.php?id=1576)
(HTML)

Instructions: Complete this assessment. The correct answers will be
displayed when you click Submit. You must be logged into your Saylor
account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an
account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after
clicking the link.

You may retake the quiz as many times as you like to prepare for the
final exam. Good luck!