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Climate Effects on Human Evolution

Describe how the topic relates to Biodiversity and Evolution.

Detail how a changing environment may have had an effect on the organisms studied in your selected topic.

Website used: http://humansorigins.si.edu/research/climate-research/effects

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Climate and biological evolution have interacted throughout Earth's history and has resulted in many small and some major transformations in the planet's atmosphere and biota. The role of climate in the origin and adaptations of humans related not only to the past, but potentially to the future. Several hypotheses have been proposed that insinuate that climate driven environmental change was responsible for hominin speciation, the morphological shift to bipedality, enlarged cranial capacity, behavioral adaptability, cultural innovations, and intercontinental immigration events (Brehensmeyer, 2006). These hypotheses are based on correlations between climate shifts documented in oceanic deposits and events in hominin evolution recorded by fossils (Brehensmeyer, 2006).

Marine core records show that cooler, drier, and more variable global climate began about 3 million years ago. This climate shift sparks the onset of the northern hemisphere glaciation, which also coincides with the origin of the genus Homo (Brehensmeyer, 2006). Beyond this, there are many ideas on how environment has shaped human evolution. Most ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines climate effects on human evolution.