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Digging for Humanity Origins Ted Talk Questions

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Anthropology
Q1
What makes humans both the same and different from other primates? Please be specific.
This is a VERY important question for anthropologists, and you can draw from all of the
readings and the TED Talk to help you frame this response.
The similarity between humans and other primates is that we reproduce sexually. As
mentioned in the chapter, “Sex,” the advantage of sex, isn’t simply that variation might produce a
beneficial new trait or repair genetic damage. Sexual reproduction also makes a species a moving
target. All the time, other species are trying to figure us out. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites don’t
look behind you they’re all trying to crack your immune system and find a way to break down
your defenses. Sexual reproduction means that every individual is a new problem for the parasites
and viruses to solve (Leakey, 2020).
Humans and primates also are similar in that females have the limiting factor in
reproduction. Just like most mammals, they carry their infants to term rather than hatching eggs.
However, human mothers respond to this demand by alloparenting, unlike other primates, they
recruit a lot of help to raise children.
Humans are considered more dimorphic than the purely monogamous species, but much
less dimorphic than the polygynous primates, like gorillas or orangutans. This means that men are
not competing directly, unlike primates, who have had a strong male competition over the last ten
to twelve million years.

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Looking at the physical differences, the human penis does not have a bone, while other
primates have an actual bone to keep it erect. Also, men’s bodies can anticipate that a partner has
mated with someone else, unlike the gorilla. Once men ejaculate, their sperm count lowers, unlike
that of a chimpanzee.
Primates have a higher encephalization ratio than other mammals, yet humans stand out as
outliers, depending on which species you compare us to. In contrast to the other primates, humans
are omnivorous. Our fellow cousins are herbivores.
Q2
Write one key term and the definition from either "Sex" or "Brains." Include the term,
definition, and the page number (either within the text itself which will provide some context
OR from the glossary at the end of the chapter). Then write 2-3 sentences about why you
selected this term--what is its significance? Why did it interest you? There are glossaries with
vocabulary terms and definitions at the end of each chapter.
Alloparenting (page 71) A pattern of multi-individual parenting or assistance to a mother
in raising offspring, from either unrelated individuals or individuals related to the child (e.g.,
siblings, father, parents’ siblings like aunts, grandparent... etc.).” Alloparenting distributes the
demands of altricial human infants and can thus lead to shorter birth spacing and greater fertility
for women.
This term stood out because it is a unique characteristic among humans and is very significant in
understanding a key difference between humans and other species when it comes to sex and
offspring.

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Surname1 Name Instructor Course Date Anthropology Q1 What makes humans both the same and different from other primates? Please be specific. This is a VERY important question for anthropologists, and you can draw from all of the readings and the TED Talk to help you frame this response. The similarity between humans and other primates is that we reproduce sexually. As mentioned in the chapter, “Sex,” the advantage of sex, isn’t simply that variation might produce a beneficial new trait or repair genetic damage. Sexual reproduction also makes a species a moving target. All the time, other species are trying to figure us out. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites don’t look behind you— they’re all trying to crack your immune system and find a way to break down your defenses. Sexual reproduction means that every individual is a new problem for the parasites and viruses to solve (Leakey, 2020). Humans and primates also are similar in that females have the limiting factor in reproduction. Just like most mammals, they carry their infants to term rather than hatching eggs. However, human mothers respond to this demand by alloparenting, unlike other primates, they recruit a lot of he ...
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