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Human Evolutionary Development Eocene Epoch Oligocene Epoch Miocene Epoch.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Evolutionary Development Eocene Epoch Oligocene Epoch Miocene Epoch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Evolutionary Development Eocene Epoch Oligocene Epoch Miocene Epoch

2 Geologic Time & Human Evolution

3 The Eocene epoch (55-35 mya)  Eocene warmest epoch of Cenozoic  NW Tenn., trop. rain forest, like Panama  First appearance of many modern orders of mammals  As mentioned, rodents  First bats, whales, modern ungulates and carnivores  Most important for us, the first P.O.M.A.  Primates of Modern Aspect  Two major groups: the adapids and omomyids  Both groups at the most primitive grade of adaptation

4 The Adapids  First appear in early Eocene (50-55 mya)  Possibly in Asia in late Eocene  Found in both Europe and N. America  Early forms more numerous in Europe  Three important genera:  Cantius - earliest adapid  Only early Eocene genus from N. Am. & Eur.  Adapis - lemur-sized European form  Named & described by Cuvier (1821)  Notharctus - lemur-sized American form  Very lemur like

5 The Omomyids  First appear in early Eocene (50-55 mya)  Found in Europe, N. America and Asia  Early forms more numerous in N. America  Important genera:  Teilhardina - earliest omomyid  From Belgium  Rooneyia - from late Eocene of N. America  they were very Tarsier or galago like

6 Adapids vs. Omomyids

7 The big question: Which group gave rise to the Anthropoids (Human and Great Ape Line)? Most fossil features point to the adapids Omomyids are good ancestors for tarsiers

8 The Oligocene epoch (35-25 mya) - the first Anthropoids  The Fayum depression - Egypt, 60 mi. SW of Cairo  Early Oligocene (ca. 33 mya) 2 genera:  Apidium - squirrel-sized arboreal quadruped  Dental formula:  Could be ancestor to both N.W. and O.W.  Aegyptopithecus - most important of Fayum finds  Dental formula:  relatively large brain  Large bodied, ~12 lbs. on average  Substantial canine sexual dimorphism  Heavily-muscled, arboreal quadruped

9 Aegyptopithecus

10 Aegyptopithecus Reconstruction

11 Old and New World Monkeys  Aegyptopithecus is best candidate for ancestral Old World Monkeys  Adaptation: like modern monkeys  What about the New World Monkeys?  Earliest fossil evidence from Bolivian Oligocene  Geologically same time as Fayum, ~33 mya

12 Miocene Primate Evolution  The Miocene epoch (25-5 mya) - "The Golden Age of Apes"  Two major hominoid radiations  The dryopiths - Early to Middle Miocene (25-15 mya)  The ramapiths - Middle to Late Miocene (15-5 mya)

13 The Dryopiths  Distribution (geographic and temporal)  Most forms from E. Africa  Some Mid-Miocene forms from Europe  Important genera  Proconsul - Early Miocene, E. Africa  Dryopithecus - Mid-Miocene, W. Europe  Morphology  Cranial features  Generalized  No major chewing specializations  Post-cranial ("below the head") features  Body size: monkey to _ gorilla-sized  Limb proportions - monkey-like  Fore-limbs not elongate  relatively short fingers & toes

14 Dryopithecus

15 Dryopithecines Reconstruction

16 The Ramapiths  Distribution (geographic and temporal)  Most widespread hominoids ever (until us)  Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Pakistan (14-8 mya)  Later in China and mainland SE Asia (~8-0.5 mya)  Ancestors?  Probably a Middle Miocene, E. African form  Kenyapithecus: a good ancestor, ~14 mya  big powerful jaws  thick molar enamel  Most important genus  Sivapithecus (includes Ramapithecus)

17 General Ramapith Morphology  Dentition similar to Dryopiths  One major dental character is thick molar enamel  Cranial features  More ape-like, chewing specializations  Post-cranial features  Not much evidence; seemingly more ape-like  More mobile shoulder joint  Possibly more terrestrial than Dryopiths

18 Specific Sivapithecus Morphology  "What great ape would it resemble?"  Later Asian forms  Cranial features mirror Orangutan  Sloping lower face/jaw  It's best interpreted as ancestor of Pongo (Orangutan)

19 Sivapithecus

20 One other interesting ramapith genus: Gigantopithecus  Found in Pakistan and China  Dates to mya, latest surviving Ramapith  Huge jaws and teeth; only parts found  May have been 6-9 ft. tall, >600 lbs!  What caused its extinction?  Maybe early humans  More mundane: Giant Panda  Same niche, large-bodied bamboo eater  Maybe NOT extinct!  Abominable Snowman & Sasquatch ???

21 Gigantopithecus

22 Last Common Ancestor?  Unable to determine exact specimen as yet.  Molecular data suggests split occurred between 6 and 5 million years ago.  Extensive genetic diversity in hominoids during the Miocene.


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