The Cradle of Humanity: How the Changing Landscape of Africa by Mark Maslin

By Mark Maslin

One of many primary questions of our life is why we're so clever. there are many drawbacks to having a wide mind, together with the massive nutrition consumption had to maintain the organ operating, the frequency with which it is going mistaken, and our very excessive baby and mom mortality charges in comparison with different mammals, as a result of the hassle of giving delivery to offspring with very huge heads. So why did evolution favour the brainy ape? this query has been commonly debated between organic anthropologists, and in recent times, Maslin and his colleagues have pioneered a brand new concept that may simply be the reply.

Looking again to a very important interval a few 1.9 million years in the past, while mind potential elevated via up to 80%, The Cradle of Humanity explores the consequences of 2 adaptive responses through our hominin ancestors to quick climatic alterations - monstrous jaws, and massive brains. Maslin argues that the effect of fixing landscapes and fluctuating climates that resulted in the looks of intermittent freshwater lakes in East Africa could have performed a key position in human evolution. along the actual facts of fossils and instruments, he considers social theories of why a wide, complicated mind may have supplied a big virtue whilst attempting to continue to exist within the always altering East African landscape.

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The Cradle of Humanity: How the Changing Landscape of Africa Made Us So Smart

One of many primary questions of our lifestyles is why we're so shrewdpermanent. there are many drawbacks to having a wide mind, together with the massive nutrition consumption had to continue the organ working, the frequency with which it is going unsuitable, and our very excessive baby and mom mortality charges in comparison with different mammals, as a result hassle of giving start to offspring with very huge heads.

Additional info for The Cradle of Humanity: How the Changing Landscape of Africa Made Us So Smart

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Eighty bones from six individuals have been found, and because of the differences with H. heidelbergensis they have been given the species name H. antecessor. H. 5–6 feet) tall and their brain sizes were roughly 1,000–1,150 cm3, smaller than most H. heidelbergensis fossils. Between 700,000 and 300,000 years ago there is evidence for only one hominin species in Africa and Europe, H. heidelbergensis. Fossilized wooden spears that are 400,000 years old have been found in Germany, and 500,000-year-old hafted stone points used for hunting have been discovered in South Africa, suggesting that H.

Both the stone tools and the cut-marked bones suggest that A. afarensis or K. platyops were not only making and using tools, but also venturing out of the safety of the forests and on to the plains in search of meat. 3 million years ago. It is similar to A. afarensis but with more ape-like limb proportions yet less primitive teeth. The longer femur in A. afarensis, as compared to A. africanus, suggests a longer stride and more efficient walking style. There are now hundreds of fossils associated with A.

H. 5 m (about 5 feet) tall and weighed about 45 kg. H. naledi’s teeth and skull are similar to Homo habilis. The shoulders, however, are more similar to those of apes. In addition, H. naledi had extremely curved fingers—more curved than almost any other species of early hominin—which clearly demonstrates climbing capabilities. This contrasts with the feet of H. naledi, which are virtually indistinguishable from those of modern humans. Combined with its long legs, this suggests the species was well-suited for long-distance walking.

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