Chapter

Grades and Transitions in Human Evolution

Mark Collard

in The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263112
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734885 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.003.0005

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Grades and Transitions in Human Evolution

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This chapter assesses the number of grades that have appeared in the course of human evolution. It identifies three grades. The first is characterised by a species mean body mass of under 50 kg; a species mean stature of less than 150 cm; facultative bipedalism; relatively large teeth and jaws; a moderate size brain relative to body mass; and a relatively short period of maturation. The second grade is characterised by a species mean body mass of more than 50 kg; a species mean stature in excess of 150 cm; obligate bipedalism; relatively small teeth and jaws; a moderate size brain relative to body mass; and a relatively short period of maturation. The third grade is similar to the second in terms of body mass, stature, locomotor behaviour and masticatory system size; but exhibits a considerably higher level of encephalisation. It also exhibits delayed maturation.

Keywords: human evolution; facultative bipedalism; obligate bipedalism; masticatory system; encephalisation

Chapter.  17059 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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