This topic provides an introduction to primate and human evolution employing theories and methods derived from evolutionary biology and palaeoanthropology. Its focus is anatomical differences and similarities between non-human primates, early hominids and various members of the genus Homo in relation to behavioural differences and similarities between the various taxa. Fossil evidence will play a major role in the delivery of the topic. The role of material culture in relation to the emergence of behavioural diversity in the genus Homo will also be addressed. Finally, case studies examining the influences of evolutionary mechanisms on current human adaptations and behaviours will be employed.
This topic aims to: