Australopithecus Afarensis, And Australopithecus Africanus Essay

1027 words - 5 pages

The phylogeny started off with Proconsul heseloni as the common ancestor to Sivapithecus indicus, Australopithecus afarensis, and Australopithecus Africanus. The reasoning for this was from the approximated age of Proconsul heseloni of 23 million years ago. This places Sivapithecus indicus roughly 15 million years after, suggesting that Sivapithecus indicus directly evolved from Proconsul heseloni.
From Proconsul heseloni, it was decided that three species evolved from it. These species included A. A. afarensis, A. africanus and Sivapithecus indicus. Sivapithecus indicus was branched off the early human evolutionary line as the characteristics from the dentation and skull characteristics ...view middle of the document...

Justification for this hypothesis can be obtained through analysing the dentation of the two species. For example the dentation of the two are similar expect for the size of the canines. This difference can be used to infer that they lived in different areas of the world as it can be assumed that the diets of the two were unalike, explaining the dissimilarity of the canine size. As it is inferred that the two species lived in different regions of the world, it can be assumed that they co-existed at the same time period.
Homo habilis followed A. africanus indicating that A. africanus was a direct ancestor of H. habilis. The reasoning for this included the brain weight and body weight of the H. habilis slightly increased from that of A. africanus. As there was a general increase the overall brain to body weight ratio, indicating that there was an increase in the overall body weight of the two.
Homo erectus was branched off after H. habilis as the justification for this was from the muzzle angles of the different species. As H. erectus had a muzzle angle of 107° it was decided that it was reasonable to assume that H. erectus evolved from H. habilis. However, in the overall positioning of the phylogeny, it was placed on a side branch off H. habilis. This reasoning for this was that if H. erectus was placed on the main evolutionary line to evolve from H. ergaster, the muzzle angles from H. ergaster, H. erectus, and Homo neaderthalensis would increase then decrease. It would not be logical to place H. erectus on the main evolutionary line. Further justification that H. erectus was not a direct ancestor of Homo sapiens instead of H. ergaster was when the skull characteristics were compared. As the data was compared, it was found that the data from H. erectus was more similar to H. sapiens, however the measurements of H. erectus was obtained from a reconstruction of various male specimens, whereas the measurements of H. erectus and H. sapiens were obtained from an adult female specimen. This provided further justification of placing H. erectus as an evolutionary side branch.
H. neanderthalensis was branched off from the main...

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