The Missing Link
Department of Anthropology
The setting for this case study is a paleontological dig in East Africa, where “Sam,” an American undergraduate student, has unearthed part of what appears to be an ancestral human skull. Students read the case story and then, in the lab, they examine a number of primate skulls and are asked to make up a phylogeny based on their observations. The is case study is designed for a lower division, general education laboratory course that accompanies a lecture course in physical (biological) anthropology.
- Gain knowledge of skull anatomy.
- Understand the functions of skull components.
- Understand the relationship between the morphology of teeth and diet.
- Appreciate the relationship between skull anatomy and mode of locomotion.
- Recognize some differences between apes and humans.
KeywordsMissing link; human anatomy; human evolution; fossils; hominid; hominin; Paranthropus boisei; Australopithecus boisei; Kenya; East Africa
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Subject HeadingsAnthropology | Evolutionary Biology | Paleontology | Anatomy |
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