This ten (10) page assignment is worth 100 points.

Primate fossil finds relate to human evolutionary process. There are thousands of fossils, mostly fragmentary. These consist of single bones and isolated teeth and more rarely, complete skulls and skeletons. Fossils yield loads of information but interpreting and understanding the data is complex. Fossils are usually arranged in temporal sequences and approximate ages are determined by radiometric and/or incremental dating techniques. Species designations represents current consensus and are sometimes reclassified when evidence indicates they should. Most hominin fossils are not considered direct ancestors of Homo sapiens but are closely related to direct ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the human lineage.


1. Conduct any necessary research and gather all materials and information to complete the assignment.
2. Lay out and design each page of your documet to make sure you include all the required items.
3. Remember to concentrate on conveying visual information as well as text.
4. Follow the format – piece together the pages of your project as detailed below:

page 1: cover page
– introduce your hominin fossil by taxonomic name
– include a picture of a sample fossil
– include your name and the class information at the bottom of the page

page 2: location
– identify where this type of hominin has been discovered
– include a map showing the locations

page 3: age & range
– identify the approximate age of this fossil
– determine how large the global sample is of this hominin species
– how many fossils have been recovered?

page 4: origins
– who discovered this hominin?
– identify the researcher(s) and their background
– explain if they were scientists, locals, tourists, etc

page 5: dating methods
– describe the dating techniques used to establish the age of the fossil
– describe how the dating technique works

page 6: identifying features
– list the diagnostic features that define your hominin fossil as a distinct species
– identify the estimated body weight, height and ambulatory method for this species
– detail the estimated cranial capacity of this species and compare to modern humans

page 7: images
– include images of the fossil species you are researching
– these may be a large number of a small handful

page 8: controversy
– detail any controversy that stems from the taxonomic classification of this species
– there may be none for your specimens but check to be sure
– some fossil hominins have been renamed, include other names yours are known by
– not every fossil species has multiple names but most do

page 9: chronology
– find an image of a chronological chart of human evolution and mark your species
– you can surf the net or copy one from the text

page 10: sources
– list all the sources you used to acquire information for this project.
– include the complete URLs, not search engines
– remember to include sources for images, complete URL’s

Suggestions & Reminders:
Follow the instructions carefully – strive for best practices. Sloppy, substandard, and incomplete work will not be awarded full value. You must cite a minimum of three sources where you acquired information (wikipedia is not a college-level source and does NOT count as one of the three).

? design each page for best effect, using high contrast
? use clear crisp fonts, images, and maps (don’t be sloppy)
? organize your data with titles and captions

* Don’t forget to look at the sample project!

When grading your projects, I will be looking at the details and the overall finished results of your work. Pay attention to the instructions. Omitted items and incomplete data will cause points to be deducted. The following breakdown illustrates how I will assess your Fossil Profile project.

/ -10 Fossil is introduced by taxonomic name and a photo is included.
/ -10 Map of where this type of fossil hominin specimen is found.
/ -10 Age (and or range) of fossil hominin specimen is provided.
/ -10 Dating technique identified and explanation of the methodology is included.
/ -10 Diagnostic features of this hominin species are annotated.
/ -10 Global sample size of this hominin species has been identified.
/ -10 Hominin species has been marked on chronological chart of human evolution.
/ -5 Finished project has professional finish and polished appearance
/ -25 List of sources are annotated and appear correct

Selecting a Topic:

To simplify matters, I usually pre-assign artists but this session I thought I’d let you choose the fossil you find most intriguing. The idea is to complete a profile about the fossil hominin you select. More than one student may choose the same topic but your work should be completed and submitted as an individual. This is NOT a group assignment. You MUST complete the Fossil Profile Project for one of the approved fossils or no points will be awarded. If there is a difficulty, e-mail the instructor.

Approved Fossils for Research

Ardipithecus ramidus

Homo habilis

Australopithecus anamensis

Homo georgicus

Australopithecus afarensis

Homo erectus

Kenyanthropus platyops

Homo ergaster

Australopithecus africanus

Homo antecessor

Australopithecus garhi

Homo heidelbergensis

Australopithecus sediba

Homo neanderthalensis

Australopithecus aethiopicus

Homo floresiensis

Australopithecus robustus

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

Australopithecus boisei

Orrorin tugenensis

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