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Nature Of BritainSaturday, 28th March 2015 11:10 - BBC TwoAlan Titchmarsh explores eight very different landscapes and the nature they support. Discover more about the... Read more: OU on the BBC: Nature of Britain
The Bottom Line - Corporate scandalSaturday, 28th March 2015 17:30 - BBC Radio 4
Thinking Allowed: Global clothing and poverty, fur inheritance in PolandMonday, 30th March 2015 00:15 - BBC Radio 4
A History of Ideas - How do I live a good life?Monday, 30th March 2015 12:04 - BBC Radio 4
The Bottom Line - Corporate scandalAvailable until Saturday, 26th March 2016 14:00How do companies recover from negative press? Evan Davis hears from guests who have broken away from scandal on this... Read more: The Bottom Line - Corporate scandal
Thinking Allowed: Global clothing and poverty, fur inheritance in PolandAvailable until Monday, 20th April 2015 08:30
Thinking Allowed: Hoarders and microbreweriesAvailable until Thursday, 23rd April 2015 12:00
Nature Of BritainAvailable until Friday, 10th April 2015 11:45
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Early years team work and leadershipThis unit explores aspects of teamwork and leadership for early years practitioners. Try: Early years team work and leadership now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
Studying mammals: Food for thought
Who were our ancestors? How are apes and humans related? And where does the extinct...
Who were our ancestors? How are apes and humans related? And where does the extinct Homo erectus fit into the puzzle? In this unit we will examine culture, tool use and social structure in both apes and humans to gain an understanding of where we come from and why we behave as we do. This is the tenth unit in the ‘Studying mammals’ series.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- describe features of apes, and features that distinguish Homo from apes;
- explain an evolutionary tree for hominines that shows one interpretation of the evolution of Homo from ape-like ancestors, australopithecines;
- use what is known about social group structure in living species of ape to suggest social group structure in extinct species;
- interpret features of apes, australopithecines, and Homo species in terms of adaptations;
- understand the roots of those features that make Homo sapiens different from other mammal species;
- discuss strategies for preservation of mammalian diversity and the related responsibilities of Homo sapiens living today.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The apes and their relationship to humans
- 2 Variable structure of ape societies
- 3 Tool use and culture in ape and human societies
- 4 Who were the ancestors of Homo?
- 5 Who were the ancestors of Homo sapiens?
- 6 Modern Homo sapiens
- 7 The threat of extinction
Studying mammals: Food for thought
In this unit, we will explore the fascinating question of who our ancestors were. I'll be looking at living species of apes in order to pick up clues about social structure and lifestyle in our ancestors and gain some understanding about why we humans behave as we do. I'll discuss tool use and culture in both ape and human societies, and look at two ancient species known only from their fossils – an australopithecine and Homo erectus.
This is the tenth in a series of units about studying mammals. To get the most from these units, you will need access to a copy of The Life of Mammals (2002) by David Attenborough, BBC Books (ISBN 0563534230), and The Life of Mammals (2002) on DVD, which contains the associated series of ten BBC TV programmes. OpenLearn unit S182_8 Studying mammals: life in the trees contains samples from the DVD set. You should begin each unit by watching the relevant TV programme on the DVD and reading the corresponding chapter in The Life of Mammals. You will be asked to rewatch specific sequences from the programme as you work through the unit.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Studying mammals (S182) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Natural History course units or view the range of currently available OU Natural History courses.