Chapter One

1. On page 9 of the textbook there is a sampling of what physical anthropologists do.

What are some of these anthropological pursuits?

2. What is a hominin?

3. When did our earliest human ancestors live?

4. Every person is a product of evolutionary history, of all the biological changes that have brought humanity to its present form. Our physical appearance, our intelligence and everything else that makes us a distinct biological species evolved in our predecessors, whose genes led to the species we are today.

Look at Figure 1.3. What are the 6 big events of human evolution? Or, put another way, what are 6 unique physical and behavioral characteristics that set humans apart from other animals? List these and describe each one.

5. Physical anthropology takes a biocultural approach. What is meant by this? Looking at Figure 1.3 which two of these events were caused mainly by biological changes and which four by changes in both human biology and human culture?

6. Your biological makeup is also strongly influenced by your environment. What things does environment refer to here?

Chapter Two

1. How did Darwin’s observation of the Galapagos finches lead him to his basic theory of evolution? What characteristics of the birds did he observe? What questions did they lead him to ask?

2. What are adaptations?

3. What did Darwin mean by

natural selection?

adaptive radiation?

descent with modification?

4. What five disciplines did Darwin draw on as he developed his theory of evolution? What had scientists in each of these disciplines already shown?

5. What 5 concepts did Darwin borrow from Thomas Malthus?

6. What did Darwin add to the theory of evolution?

7. What field has developed since Darwin and reshaped our understanding of evolution?

8. What basic principles of inheritance did Gregor Mendel discover?

9. How do these principles contribute to our understanding of cells, chromosomes and genetics?

10. We now know that evolution is caused by one or a combination of what 4 forces of evolution?

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