GEOL 11042 Lecture Notes - Lecture 41: Ardi, Triple Junction, Homo Heidelbergensis

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The hominid fossil record is a busy, complex record that expands each year with new discoveries. We will cover some of the "hominid highlights" here but i encourage you to keep on the lookout for new discoveries, which occur frequently. We can begin by looking at the famous laetoli footprints (found in tanzania), which are 3. 6 million years old and were made in a dusting of volcanic ashfall. They are actually two sets of footprints, set among animal tracks of various kinds. First, a quick review of the cenozoic time scale. Remember that the cenozoic era is divided into numerous epochs. We have already taken a close look at the eocene and the miocene epochs, but the hominid fossil record really is a story that develops in very late miocene time, and continues right through the pliocene/pleistocene/and holocene. So, our story really begins at the close of the miocene epoch.

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