Homo erectus populations were successful for approximately one million years. In the hominid line, this is a long enough period of time that evolutionary forces like natural selection, gene flow, founder effect, genetic drift, and mutation may have influenced changes to anatomy and behavior. These interesting ideas are complicated by the fact that Homo erectus also migrated out of Africa and into other areas of the world. Conduct some web research to find evidence that suggests such change occurred in various parts of the globe.
You’ve already read about the celebrated skeleton recovered near Lake Turkana in Kenya but let’s think about the implications of that discovery. Paleoanthropologists consider the Nariokotome specimen of great importance because the nearly complete specimen is an adolescent that offers clues to growth rates and details about skeletal structure that enhance our understanding of the species as a whole. Compare the general cranial capacity of Homo erectus to that of modern Homo sapiens and then visit these sites for a refresher about the details and a look at the actual remains:
http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/… (Links to an external site.)
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/15000.html (Links to an external site.)
- Provide a brief description of your web research, along with a link for further reading. (10 points)
- Explain what the cranial capacity numbers suggest based on your research about changes in Homo erectus. (10 points)
- Your post should be a minimum of 100+ words – please cite any resources used. (5 points)