Plavcan's Study Guide for Introduction to Physical Anthropology

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Evolution a change in gene frequency over time  
Transmutation of species was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1809 for his theory that described the altering of one species into another.  
Fixity of species a term which means all species remained unchanged throughout the history of the earth  
Young earth a biblical account of the universe which contends that the Earth is only approximately 6,000 years old based on the writings of the Bible.  
Heliocentric universe Sun-centered universe  
Earth-centered universe universe in which the Earth is located at the center  
Scala naturae, with humans as the pinnacle of creation Medieval concept of God’s hierarchy for the universe; ‘The Great Chain of Being’  
Catastrophism the idea that Earth has been affected in the past by sudden, short-lived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope.  
Uniformitarianism assumes that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. Its methodology is frequently summarized as ‘the present is the key to the past,’ because it holds that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the world.  
Aristotle Aristotelian view of the universe common in late middle ages – earth is center of all.  
Ptolemy Formulated astronomical model based on earth-centered universe – used for centuries to predict location of planets, moon, sun, stars.  
Copernicus heliocentric view challenged Aristotelian view  
Galileo pushed Copernican ideas – got the attention of the church.  
John Ray concept that species are defined by reproductive isolation (not approximation to a theoretical ideal), nomenclature of genus and species  
Carolus Linnaeus formalized binomial system (genus and species), invented hierarchical classification, taxonomy, first to classify Homo sapiens with other animals.  
Compte de Buffon Changing nature of species (but not evolution), concept of changing adaptations, concept of interaction between species and environment.  
Erasmus Darwin Darwin's grandfather, held to belief in transmutation of species – possibly influenced Darwin.  
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck invented evolutionary theory (transmutation of species through interaction with environment). Mechanism of acquired characteristics was wrong, though.  
Georges Cuvier opponent of Lamarck. One of the fathers of paleontology, he believed in creation, and invented catastrophism (repeated floods and creations) to explain fossil record.  
Charles Lyell father of modern geology, invented idea of uniformitarianism – same processes visible today generated geological formations (implies very old earth).  
Thomas Malthus wrote an essay on population expansion. Concept that limited resources control population growth provided Darwin and Wallace with key insight into mechanism of natural selection  
Charles Darwin Invented theory of natural selection (not evolution!). Meticulous observer – most of his ideas have survived intense scrutiny and testing.  
Alfred Wallace Independently came up with concept of natural selection. Given co-credit for idea, but Darwin's publications and work were much more thorough.  
Thomas Huxley called ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ aggressively promoted evolutionary theory to the scientific community.  
Prokaryotes primitive cells with no nucleus.  
Eukaryotes an organism whose cells contain complex structures enclosed within membranes. Almost all species of large organisms are eukaryotes, including animals, plants and fungi  
nucleus here DNA is stored, replicated, and translated  
mitochondria where chemical reactions occur that provide cell energy. Mitochondria have their own set of DNA, which proves handy for human evolution studies.  
a cell membrane the cell wall that actually is an important functional feature of the cell  
ribosomes complexes of RNA and protein that are found in all cells with nuclei. They help make proteins.  
cytoplasm the glop of chemicals and organs in the cell  
DNA the genetic code  
RNA the translation of the genetic code that is used to synthesize proteins.  
Proteins molecules that do lots of things in the cell. DNA codes for proteins, so in a sense a gene is the blueprint for a specific protein.  
Chromosomes Duplicate strands of DNA located in the nucleus, congealed into visible structures during cell replication.  
Chromatin ‘unwound’ DNA in the nucleus.  
Autosomes Any chromosome not considered as a sex chromosome, or is not involved in sex determination. It occurs in pairs in somatic cells and singly in sex cells (gametes).  
sex chromosomes the famous X and Y chromosomes.  
Cortical Bone the bone outside of trabecular bone that is thickest on the parts that frequently withstand more pressure  
Trabecular bone soft, spongy part of bone that is protected by cortical bone  
Anterior front, or Ventral side  
Posterior back, or Dorsal side  
Medial Located closest to the center of the body  
Lateral Located nearest the sides of the body  
Superior Top or closest to the head, or Cranial  
Inferior Bottom or farthest from head, or Caudal (caudal vertebrae makes an animal’s tail)  
Distal Farther away (the most distal part of an arm is the fingertip)  
Proximal Closer (the most proximal part of an arm is the shoulder)  
Frontal bone Forehead, split at birth by metopic suture  
Parietal bones Two parietal bones, one on left and one on right, connected by sagittal suture  
Occipital bone continues from very back and forms bottom portion of skull; it contains the forenum magnum, which is the opening in which the spine is located. It has the lambdoidal suture  
Lambdoidal Suture the posterior aspect of the skull that connects the parietal and temporal bones with the occipital bone. Its name comes from its lambda-like appearance.  
Sphenoid bone a butterfly-shaped bone with multiple holes through which things like snot drain behind the sinus cavity. Forms the very back of the eye socket.  
Lacrimal Bone where tear duct is located in the eye  
Ethmoid Bone located next to lacrimal bone, forming most of the eye socket  
Zygomatic Bone makes up cheek bones  
Temporal Bone Side of head, next to ear. Connects to Zygomatic and Parietal bones.  
Somatic garden variety cells that make up your body, and  
Gametes sex cells, the merger of which makes a new organism.  
Mitosis cell division, includes prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase  
Meiosis production of gametes: divides up the chromosomes so that each gamete has half the normal complement  
Diploid A cell consisting of two sets of chromosomes: usually, one set from the mother and another set from the father. In a diploid state the haploid number is doubled.  
Haploid Of or pertaining to a condition in which there is only half of the complete set of chromosomes in somatic cells. Haploid is the number of chromosomes found in a gamete.  
Where is DNA found? Most is found in the nucleus (a small bit is found in the mitochondria too)  
nucleotide (a sugar, a phosphate, and one of four bases)  
The 4 Bases Are adenine (A), guanine(G), thymine (T), cytosine (C)  
Base pairs A-T, G-C  
Codon group of three adjacent bases that codes for a specific amino acid  
Amino acid one of 20 little molecules that, when strung together, make up a protein  
Replication the process of creating two identical copies of a DNA molecule from a single DNA molecule.  
DNA Polymerase a protein that helps stitch together nucleotides during the process of replication  
RNA found in the nucleus and the cytoplasm; single-stranded molecule used to translate DNA code. Uses four base-pairs, but substitutes uracile (U) for thymine  
mRNA directly transcribes the DNA code, then moves to the cytoplasm and serves as the template for protein synthesis  
tRNA transfers amino acids to the mRNA template and links them together  
rRNA makes up ribosomes, which are like little zipper-thingies that bring together the tRNA and mRNA to make the protein.  
Transcription copying the DNA code to make an mRNA.  
Translation translating the mRNA code into a protein.  
Gregor Mendell experiments on peas established basic Mendellian laws of inheritance.  
Punnett square that annoying box-diagram that helps you figure out the combinations of genes that will result in an offspring.  
Genotype the combination of all genes that you have in your genetic code.  
Phenotype what you look like as a result of your genes, and the environment (for example, if you are malnourished, you will be short, even if you have ‘tall’ genes).  
Allele a variant of a gene. Because you have two copies of each chromosome (one from mom, one from dad), you have two copies of each gene. If the copies are not exactly the same, the different versions are called alleles.  
Homozygous an individual has copies of the same allele for a gene.  
Heterozygous an individual has one copy each of two different alleles for a gene.  
Dominant allele a gene is expressed regardless of the presence of another allele.  
Recessive allele a gene is expressed only in the absence of a dominant gene.  
Co-dominant alleles genes that are both expressed – neither is dominant to the other.  
Locus the spot on a chromosome where a gene is located.  
F1 generation the first generation after a pair mates (your kids, for example).  
F2 generation the next generation after F1 (F2=your grandkids).  
Independent Assortment alleles sort independently from one generation to the next (an outcome of meiosis)  
Segregation (the assortment of chromosomes, and hence genes, during meiosis)  
Crossing-over (swapping pieces of DNA between chromosomes during meiosis)  
Polygenic inheritance traits that are determined by more than one gene (not just more than one allele!).  
Pleiotropy one gene has multiple effects  
Non-Mendellian inheritance traits that follow complicated patterns of inheritance do to polygenic determinance and various patterns of ‘penetrance’ (kind of like dominance/recessiveness, but more complex).  
Sex-linked traits traits only expressed in one sex  
Modern synthesis combination of principles from natural selection, genetics, paleontology, comparative anatomy, and population biology to form a comprehensive evolutionary theory.  
Populations, demes, subspecies, species the hierarchical terms used to describe groups of organisms comprising a species.  
Reproductive isolation the principle that members of a species do not interbreed with members of other species – the biological definition of a species.  
Adaptation alteration of form and physiology in response to natural selection.  
Mutation rare, but ultimately to source of change in the genetic code.  
gene flow the movement of genes from one population to another.  
genetic drift random changes in allele frequency in a population: a statistical phenomenon that is important when population sizes are small.  
Bottlenecks changes in allele frequency occurring as a result of a decrease in population size.  
founder effect establishment of allele frequencies in a population on the basis of the chance occurrence of the alleles in a small, isolated ‘founder’ population.  
directional selection natural selection that is driving change in a character over time in a single direction (e.g. progressive increase in brain size in human evolution)  
stabilizing selection natural selection that keeps a character from changing over time.  
gene pool the total complement of genes in a population of  
gene frequency the actual frequency of alleles in a population.  
Recombination the shuffling of genes from the effect of segregation and crossing-over.  
Population genetics the study of the genetics of populations of organisms rather than just a single organism – fundamental to the study of ‘microevolution.’  
Balanced polymorphism presence of two genotypes in a population maintained by selection.  
Genetic equilibrium stable pattern of genotypes in a population.  
Sexual selection differential reproductive success due to variation in mating success.  
Mate Competition competition to exclude other members of the same sex from access to mates  
Mate Choice selection of mates by one sex on the basis of traits or behavior.  
Positive Assortive Mating similar individuals prefer each other as mates  
Negative Assortive Mating dissimilar individuals prefer each other as mates.  
Inbreeding mating with close relatives – increases the chances of having homozygous traits.  
Hardy-Weinberg equation p2 + 2pq + q2 = 1  
Race in its biological definition, populations that show minor differences in inherited traits. Often inappropriately used to identify ethnic groups, or in the sense of a species or subspecies.  
Geographic variation variation in traits that is associated with geography.  
Cline gradual changes in the frequency of traits over geographic areas.  
Biological determinism the idea that physical traits are associated with intelligence, values, morals and so forth. Historically these were traits that were used to bolster racial or ethnic preconceptions and stereotypes.  
Eugenics deliberate policy of breeding to ‘improve’ the genetic structure of human populations. Popular in the early 20th century – led to some of the ugliest racial policies ever invented (c.f. apartheid) and even genocide (Nazi Germany).  
Blumenbeck ( 1752-1840) classified people into 5 races: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, American, Ethiopian, and Malayan on the basis of various traits including skin color (‘white’, ‘black’, ‘red’, ‘brown’, ‘yellow’), but also realized that the classifications were basically arbitrary, and that there was a continuum of traits across populations.  
Retzius (1842) developed the cephalic index (head length to breadth ratio). ‘Dolichocephalic’ skulls are long and narrow – ‘Brachycephalic’ skulls are round. Tried to argue that skull shape was correlated with intelligence. Argued that North Europeans were the pinnacle of evolution, Africans were the most primitive. Sort of stuff that led to eugenics and ‘ethnic cleansing.’  
Gates (1948) and Coon (1962) most recent folks who tried to establish validity of racial categories (Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongaloid, Australoid, Capoid).  
Polymorphism variation at a locus  
Acclimatization change in an individuals morphology or physiology (e.g. skin color, immune response, lung capacity, red cell count) in response to environmental changes (change in exposure to sun, exposure to disease, change in altitude).  
Phenotypic plasticity ability of traits to change over an individual's lifetime. Also used to refer to traits of populations or species that respond quickly to changes in selective pressures.  
Homeostasis stability and balance of internal physiological and morphological state.  
Skin color amount of melanin (dark pigment) deposited in skin cells to protect the nucleus from UV radiation (which damages cells and causes cancer). In an individual skin color may vary in response to exposure to sunlight. In populations it is very phenotypically plastic and strongly correlated with latitude (and hence overall exposure to sunlight).  
Vitamin D important vitamin synthesized in the skin with exposure to sunlight. Dark skinned people have trouble getting enough in northern latitudes.  
Major histocompatibility complex immune system mechanism.  
Lymphocytes white blood cells – part of immune system.  
B-cells, T-cells particular types of white cells.  
Mutagen anything that damages DNA. UV light is a mutagen.  
Allen's Rule animals (including people) living in colder environments have relatively shorter limbs and bigger bodies – animals in hot environments have thin bodies and long limbs, all in association with temperature regulation.  
Bergman's rule animals (including people) get bigger in colder, more northerly climates, again for thermoregulation.  
Morphogenesis the formation of the bodies tissues and organs.  
Growth increase in the size of a structure or organism.  
Development changes in size and shape and elaboration of structures.  
Bone growth happens with the formation cartilage templates or membranes in the fetus, in which ‘ossification centers’ appear. Subsequent growth happens at ‘epiphyseal plates’ at the end of long bones, and by the progressive addition of bone to the edges of other bones – take osteology if you want to know more!  
Ossification deposition of bone in a non-bone structure.  
Epiphysis the end of a long bone  
Diaphysis the shaft of a long bone  
Epiphyseal plates the junction between the epiphysis and diaphysis where growth of a long bone occurs.  
Stature how tall you are. Changes as you grow. Also changes in populations across generations in relation to nutrition – better health and nutrition makes for taller people.  
Adolescent growth spurt unique to humans, who have a long period of slow growth called childhood, followed by a period of rapid growth as sexual maturity is reached (the growth spurt). Most animals keep growing at pretty much one pace, with no prolonged childhood.  
Sexual dimorphism difference in form between males and females. Human males tend to be bigger and more ‘robust’ than human females.  
Basic nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, lipids, vitamins, minerals).  
Essential amino acids amino acids that your body cannot synthesize, and therefore must get through your diet.  
Scurvy lack of vitamin C – leads to all sorts of nasty problems. Prevented by eating fruit.  
Malnutrition lack of essential dietary components.  
Undernutrition not enough to eat.  
Lactation period when a mother secretes milk.  
Fertility ability of female to conceive.  
‘Catch-up-period’ period during growth of a child when she/he can grow faster and ‘catch-up’ to normally developing children following a period of mal- or undernutrition.  
Pregnancy period of fetal development in mother.  
Infancy time between birth and weaning (the time when nursing stops). Therefore it corresponds exactly to the period of nursing. In modern industrial societies, this period is cut short by early weaning. In ‘natural’ human populations this period can be up to about 4 years. Mother is usually infertile during lactation (‘lactational amenorrhea’).  
Childhood period of slow physical development in humans (only) thought to provide extended period for learning and social development.  
Adolescence period when sexual maturity is achieved, along with rapid physical development to adult form.  
Adulthood period of prolonged sexual, mental, and physical maturity.  
Senescence failure through age of organs or organ systems. In humans, most organ systems begin to become senescent in the 70's or 80's.  
Menopause normal senescence of the female reproductive organs long before other organ systems become senescent. Unique to humans.  
Cervical of the neck (there are 7 cervical vertebrae)  
Atlas C1 vertebrae – right below the skull  
Axis C2 vertebrae – Has a small portion which slips into the C1 and supports it.  
Thoracic vertebrae that go through the thorax (there are 12 thoracic vertebrae)  
Lumbar cover the section of the body between the ribs and pelvis (5 lumbar vertebrae)  
Sacral bottom vertebrae that form the sacrum (there are 4-5 but they’ve fused together)  
Tibia larger bone in the shin  
Fibula smaller bone next to tibia  
Tarsal large group of bones in the foot near ankle  
Metatarsal longer bones in the foot – one metatarsal for each toe  
Carpal group of small bones in hand  
Metacarpal long bones in hand that form fingers  
Humerus long bone from shoulder to elbow  
Ulna has big ‘hook’ that connects to humerus in forearm  

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