Year 13 Study Human Evolution

August 28, 2018 at 5:16 PM

With thanks to Head of Biology, Mr Bernard Potter

Our story to becoming human is a long and fascinating one. The study of palaeoanthropology and human evolution helps our students understand that we are only one of the many different ‘human’ forms that have lived on this planet, some of whom became extinct while others became ‘us.’

Each year, senior biology students visit Auckland Zoo to support their studies in Human Evolution. This year, we had an engaging lecture on the skeletal, the cranial and the sub-cranial features of modern humans. We considered how specific anatomical developments have contributed to humans having an unprecedented ability to manipulate the world around them.

The skeleton of our closest living relative (the chimpanzee) was used as a comparative species, as both we and they share a direct common ancestor some six million years ago. We were also able to have a ‘hands-on’ session with the replica skulls of other hominin (proto-human) species and their associated stone tools. Students also observed other primates in the zoo to reflect on what makes us a primate of such significant difference.

This experience allowed students to consider the series of biological and cultural events that shaped us into our current form and will contribute to their better understanding of this topic.

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