Free course

Studying mammals: Food for thought

Free statement of participation on completion

Who were our ancestors? How are apes and humans related? And where does the extinct Homo erectus fit into the puzzle? In this free course, Studying mammals: Food for thought, 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 course in the Studying mammals series.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, 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.