MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-18

AUTUMN SEMESTER 15 CREDITS
AAP693 EVOLUTIONARY ANATOMY
CO-ORDINATOR: KEVIN KUYKENDALL
OTHER TUTORS: N/A

MODULE OUTLINE

This module incorporates lectures and practical demonstration (laboratory) sessions to explore the application of anatomical principles to the comparison and interpretation of the hominid and primate fossil record. The schedule is co-ordinated with that of AAP683 Human Anatomy, and incorporates additional material in lab sessions to understand the functional and comparative anatomy of modern and extinct hominoid primates. Practical sessions apply the knowledge of musculoskeletal and comparative anatomy to interpretation of hominid fossil specimens (casts and published information), and to understand the musculoskeletal evolutionary adaptations of the hominid lineage


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This unit aims to:

  • Apply the principles and knowledge of comparative musculoskeletal anatomy to the interpretation of the hominid fossil record
  • Provide the students with a strong foundation in comparative anatomy and function in primates
  • Promote the anatomical basis for the reconstruction and evaluation of function and behaviour capabilities in extinct hominid species.

MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • the comparative and functional anatomy of the human and primate musculoskeletal system;
  • how to evaluate the anatomical basis for reconstructions of early hominid function, locomotion, and behaviour;
  • the evolutionary history of modern human anatomical structure.

EXAMPLES OF LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES/TUTORIALS

Our lectures/seminars are highly participative and taught by leaders in their field.

  • Techniques 1. Anatomical description of fossils
  • Techniques 2. Classification & cladistics
  • Techniques 3. Estimating body size: regression methods
  • Techniques 4. Ageing and life history from teeth
  • Biomechanics primer: interpreting functional anatomy
  • Comparative anatomy 1. Thorax and body plan
  • Comparative anatomy 3. Upper limb 2: antebrachium and hand
  • Comparative anatomy 4. Pelvic girdle and hip
  • Comparative anatomy 5. Leg and foot

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

  • The application of theoretical information and models to practical context in palaeoanthropology
  • Fundamental laboratory skills for osteological measurement and comparison
  • Presentation of effective tables and figures to illustrate the results of practical work
  • Team working to accomplish the goals of practical exercises and tasks
  • Problem solving using empirical observation and the scientific method

STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type

Hours

Lectures 10
Laboratory Sessions 15
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 125

ASSESSMENT

Method

% of marks

Hours/Length

Practical Exam 25% 2 hours
Case Study reports 75% 3,000 words