Thursday, August 15, 2019
Early Hominids and Tools
Early Hominids and Tools Jacky Thompson ANT 101 March 20, 2013 Even though humans seem to be the most advanced creatures walking this earth, we certainly had ancestors before us. We share similar genetic information of other animals. They are what we consider early hominids. Early hominids date as far back as 6 to 8 million years ago. Just like humans, they had to have some type of culture in order to survive and make a living. Culture is defined as a dynamic adaptive process of learned, shared, and integrated behaviors.But it is not so obvious that these hominids had culture, so the presences of stone tools and home bases might be the answer to determine if they had culture. Tools are defined as a device or implement used with the hand, to carry out a specific function. Primates learn and share in certain culture, but their social behavior is not as complex as those of humans. The earliest hominids were classified as Australopithecus, which is a type of ape. Scientists claimed that their brains were not big enough to fathom the thought of making tools. Perhaps they used tools to hunt animals.The animals that later hominids hunted were used for food and maybe the furs were used for clothing. This is what we consider hunting and gathering. It is a technique in which the men are responsible for hunting while the women gather the resources. In order for them to hunt they must have had tools to help them kill and clean animals. This process of hunting can be learned and passed on through generations, which are basic parts of culture. The use of tools allowed or ancestorÃ¢â¬â¢s opportunities to hunt and do other useful things that were off-limits before the use of tools.Scientist still really does not have clues as to how and why this transition took place. The actual history and time comes from the actual tools themselves. The act of making tools is an example of how developed our ancestorÃ¢â¬â¢s brains were. To actually create the thought of making tools and t o figure how they will be designed is a significant development in itself. This symbolizes culture because the process of making tools was probably passed down to generations, and they became better at using and making better tools.Early hominids used stone tool making. This is the deliberate fashioning of a stone into an actual tool. Throwing or bashing the stones against something created it. Archaeologists recognized four types of tools: choppers, flake tools, crude tools, and hand axes. Mostly found in Africa and the Middle East. Early hominids probably made tools with sticks, wood, horn, and other perishable materials. Besides previous uses of tools mentioned, they were also used for fishing out termites and other insects.These tools were supposedly long blades of grass that had been licked, and stuck into holes to get termites, which they ate in order to get proteins and the nutrients they needed. Besides humans, species in the animal kingdom, also shared culture behavior. Thi s was mainly seen in chimpanzees. Scientist often compared the culture of the two. Chimps are genetically the closest related relatives to humans, sharing 98 percent of our DNA. Seeing as to they were this closely related to us, of course they would be capable of making tools like earlier hominids did.Chimps made weapons to hunt. They hunted in things like nuts, fishing for termites. And just like earlier ancestors who ate them, the chimps did also. They choose branches, stripped it of its leaves, trimmed it, and put it to use. Unlike hominids, it is not really successful for chimps to hunt. This might be so because their brain is not as developed as ours. They mostly go after available resources such as, fruits and branches. Males used methods such as grabbing prey and killing it, while the females created the tools that were useful for catching the prey.Now, to the actual cultural behaviors of both humans and chimpanzees, we have a few behavior patterns in common. Humans have the ability to throw things, and more precisely, they are able to aim at an actual object then throw. Chimps have also showed this type of behavior. This type of behavior is not one that is passed on through genetics, but it is socially learned. Like little children who look at their parents, and mirror their actions, baby chimps also learn to do the same thing. So in this case, cultural is socially gratified even though it is not as complex as humans.Both species evolved upright or bipedal. Another culture characteristic is the way chimps wake. This gives us an idea of how our early ancestors begin walking. They no longer walked on all fours, they being to free their hands in order to carry valuable resources. Other characteristics include emotions. Chimps have ways to show fear, often displayed with a small smirk, just like humans. Perhaps this is a mechanism used not to show fear. They can also contract similar illnesses that humans have such as HIV and hepatitis but they do not show symptoms of the viruses.Much like institutionalized humans, chimpanzees whose social, intellectual, and physical, needs are not met, they show behavioral symptoms of stress. Chimpanzees exhibit such behaviors, as self-mutilation, continual rocking, and aggression. These are socially learned mechanisms within cultures. Evidence of early hominids have been seen everywhere, but to actually distinguish if they have cultural behavior is hard. Just like hominids, chimpanzees share, almost the same amount of DNA, giving them a better chance to act out as humans, versus other animals.Even though we share a fair amount of DNA, while chimpanzees are further studied, it is becoming more apparent that their intelligence is higher than we previously thought. Talking, for instance, is not a hard task for hominids, but for chimps, it is believed that they have the learning capacity to use spoken language, but their throats and vocal cords are not designed to make consonant noises and sounds. This eliminates the possibility of chimps actually being able to talk. However, chimps in opposition have been taught to understand English, communicate through with certain keypads, acknowledge certain symbols, and use sign language.Since early hominids were descendants of the same common ancestor as chimps, they most likely had the same resources available to learn the same things as humans did. Another thing that hominid cultures find to be normal is to let the male wander off while the females stayed put in a specific area. Chimps use a similar type method. Instead of the male going out to gather sources and goods, the female traveled while the male held the home base. Another behavior characteristic that we share is socializing. Chips show this by grooming, chasing, or playing.Like hominids they too, show affection, which includes kissing and hugging. Perhaps chimps use grooming to connect, while hominids were more successful through talking. We both show facial expression, and sho ckingly, language. Instead of verbal sounds, chimps make grunts and screams. When it came to hominids and chimps hunting, they both searched for meats and plants, making the both of them omnivorous. Even though many humans would prefer eating meats, chimps lean more towards fruits. One of the most common similarities of the wo are bipedalism. This is the act of walking on two legs. Chimps would be seen most of the time walking on all fours but they use bipedalism to further ahead of themselves. When comparing these two species we are able to find so many similarities. With almost the same amount of DNA, the resemblance is shocking. We both have the ability to hunt, walk on two legs, eat similar foods, and we lack a tail. Our behavior is learned, and shared. Chimpanzees and early hominoids, take on the responsibility of hunting and providing for there offspring.They both had the ability of making and using tools. Perhaps they inherited this ability from some common ancestor. Since ch imps did not learn from humans, we can accept the fact that we are related and originated from a common ancestor. Culture is socially stratified, thus making it important for chimps and humans to adapt to the social norm in order to communicate. So the presence of stone tools, and home bases do suggest that we both had culture, and I can conclude the fact the early hominids and chimps cultural behavior did strongly compare.