As you may have noticed, EvoAnth recently moved to a new home; here at evoanth.net. This has brought many advantages, like a fancy new home page and the ability to display obnoxious ads. But it’s also given me more information about how people find EvoAnth. Often it’s by googling questions; questions I sometimes don’t have the answer to. So here are the top 4 questions from the internet (I haven’t answered before).
Remember, if you want a question answered, just fill out the contact me form. It’s easier than googling a topic enough times for me to notice it.
4. When did Australopithecus live?
Australopithecus was the group of human relatives that came immediately before Homo – the group to which we belong. As such, it likely contains some of our ancestors; along with a bunch of off-shoots that probably just went extinct. The key word in all that is “group”. Australopithecus is a whole genus, containing several different species. It’s no one single entity with handy start and end points.
The earliest species is Australopithecus anamensis; which lived ~4 million years ago. The last Australopith was Australopithecus sediba, which lived ~1.8 million years ago. In between them were maybe half a dozen other species of Australopith, living and eventually becoming extinct. Many often lived side by side.
So in simple terms, they lived from 4 – 1.8 million years ago.
3. What does heavy stubble mean?
You haven’t shaved in a while
2. What were Oldowan tools used for?
Oldowan tools were the first stone tools made by human relatives (maybe even Australopiths) around 2.6 million years ago. They represent a key leap forwards in human technology, and maybe even intellect.
The tools consist of a series of flakes, along with the cores from which those flakes were created. Originally it was thought the cores were a key part of the toolkit, but since then we’ve realised that actually the flakes would’ve been far more useful.
What were these flakes used for? Just about everything it seems like. Usewear analysis of the tools reveals they were used to process plants, work wood, and cut meat. That second option is particularly interesting, as it implies the Oldowan may have included many wooden tools as well; but they’ve sadly since rotted away.
1. What is an Auroch?
Not quite sure why so many people interested in cow evolution are coming to my site. I didn’t even realise there were that many people interested in cow evolution. Oh well.
Aurochs are basically the large, wild cows which were domesticated by humans. Now we have a lot of domestic cows, but the original Aurochs have gone extinct. Which is a bit of a shame since they were quite impressive, clocking in at nearly 2 meters tall!
They appear to have been domesticated independently all around the world, ranging from 9 – 6,000 years ago. So quite a recent even really. Which is why I don’t understand why so many people are interested in it. Don’t they know all the cool stuff happened much earlier.
Bit sad to see that the top question asked of me is one unrelated to human evolution; but I guess that just means I’m doing a really good job of answering all the more relevant questions. Yay.
If you think you’ve got a better, more relevant question please leave a comment.