Biological Anthropology Practicum
The Crania Project
You are the brilliant (but lowly) intern for the recently deceased paleontologist Harvey Manfrenjensenjen. Although his contributions to hominid paleontology were enormous, he was hopelessly unorganized. While sorting through his fossils and notes you find that there are six fossil hominid crania that are labeled with only some basic information. It is your job to examine the skulls and, using your vast knowledge of hominid morphology from the textbook and lectures, identify their respective taxa. For this assignment you will prepare an analysis of the skulls found in this link : http://cteapps.siu.edu/projects/crania/index.html This project report is to be at least three pages long, typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, and in compositional form. The margins should be no larger than one inch. You must answer all of the questions.
1. Describe the six skulls found in the case using terminology you have learned from the class; name at least three morphological characteristics for each cranium that suggest which taxon each specimen belongs to. Your classification should include both genus and species names. Each skull should have at least a one-paragraph description.
2. Each characteristic should be discussed in terms of evolutionary trends (i.e., does a given trait increase or decrease in size through time in the hominid lineage).
3. Place the fossils in an evolutionary order from oldest to youngest, giving approximate dates for each species. In other words, how do these various fossils relate to each other? Were they coexisting with others, found in the same areas, come before or after othe.rs?
4. Create a family tree for the hominids in the display case. Place them in the order that you think they occurred in and how they relate to each other.
Organization of this paper is up to you. You may want to describe things in chronological order, or by their number in the display case. If you use outside materials (which are not required), be sure to site where the information came from- give credit where credit is due.
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