Hominin evolution: A review of bipedal adaptations and cranial capacity as a means of studying evolution and analyzing speciation

Cassy Marie Appelt

Abstract


Hominin evolution and the field of paleoanthropology are cornerstones of paleontological inquiry. Much about hominin evolution has been learned since the discovery of the first Neandertal specimen in 1856, but increasing ambiguity regarding the speciation of extinct hominins has created doubt and conflict within the scientific community. A thorough look at the role of bipedal and cranial adaptations, selective pressures leading to their emergence, and the implications of their perseverance has the capacity to clear up associated ambiguities in the field of paleoanthropology. Coupled with advances in technology, such as the accessibility of ancient DNA, it is possible to critically evaluate hominin morphology and its impact on reproductive barriers. As the field of paleopathology continues to inquire into our evolutionary past, a more concise and complete account of hominin evolution is possible.


Keywords


Human evolution, Neanderthals, bipedalism, ancient DNA, molecular bioarchaeology

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PID: http://hdl.handle.net/10515/sy5736mk3

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