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In Search of Human Origins, Part II

Program Overview


Homo habilis, an early human, seems to have been the first user of tools. At one time, anthropologists believed that the tools were used for hunting. However, more recent fossil evidence suggests that Homo habilis was a scavenger rather than a hunter, and that the tools were used to slice meat and break the bones of carcasses that they took from predators.

Evidence presented in this program indicates that the first hunter may have been Homo erectus, a later hominid. Homo erectus had physiological adaptations that provided an evolutionary advantage over the australopithecines and enabled the species to be hunters and predators. With a larger brain, Homo erectus had the intelligence to hunt. In addition, a more developed spinal cord, jaw, and tooth structure enabled the species to run faster and eat meat.

Teacher's Guide
In Search of Human Origins, Part II
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