Anthropology 1 - Study Guide for Exam 1 - Dr. Sullivan
Lectures 1 & 2: Anthropology and the Scientific Method
Review the four main fields of Anthropology, their subdisciplines, and key concepts
and/or methods associated with them i.e.:
1) Physical Anthropology - Human biology (osteology, genetics, human variation etc.),
Primatology (primate behavior and evolution), Paleoanthropology (study of hominid
fossils and evolution)
2) Cultural Anthropology - ethnography
3) Linguistics - human speech and language
4) Archaeology - material culture
What is “science”? What is the Scientific Method? - observation, hypothesis,
experiment, conclusions. How is a theory different from a hypothesis? What are some
examples of scientific theories? i.e. gravity, heliocentric solar system, germ theory of
disease, Darwinian evolution.
Lecture 3: History of Evolutionary Thought
Review the concepts:
Scala Naturae, Fixity of Species, The Great Chain of Being, The Argument from Design.
Individuals who were influential in the history of evolutionary thought and the key ideas
associated with them:
Aristotle – Scala Naturae
Linnaues - binomial nomenclature, taxonomy
Buffon – interaction between organism and environment
Jean Baptist Lamarck – the inheritance of acquired characteristics (review closely)
Cuvier – catastrophism
Lyell – uniformitarianism
Malthus – Organisms must compete for the finite resources available, limiting the
tendency for populations to increase.
Wallace – conceptualized Natural Selection with Charles Darwin.
Review the contributions of Charles Darwin to evolutionary thought:
Wrote On the Origin of Species in which he suggested a primary mechanism to explain
how evolutionary change could occur – Natural Selection.
Definition of Natural Selection:
Biological variation + environmental factors = differential reproductive success.
Between 1831-1836, Darwin sailed around the world as ship’s naturalist on board The Beagle.
One of the places visited was the Galapagos Islands off of South America. He found 13 species
of finch descended from a single mainland South American species. e.g. Ground finch – heavy
beaks for eating seeds. Tree finch – short beak for buds and fruit. Insect eating species – slender
Darwin described this process as an adaptive radiation of the original finch species into several
different environments. This is an example of Natural Selection resulting in speciation (new
Lecture 4: Mendelian Inheritance
What were Darwin’s principal theoretical problems?
What is biological variation?
How is biological variation [“traits”] inherited?
Darwin relied on the concept of trait blending to get round these problems.
Critics demonstrated that blending inheritance would actually remove all variation from a
Gregor Mendel - solved Darwin’s theoretical problems.
Review Mendel’s work and conclusions:
Mendel systematically experimented with the crossing of pure lines of garden peas, and working
with single traits at a time e.g. GG (yellow) and gg (green) peas. Mendel correctly reasoned that
the members of a pair of units of inheritance controlling a trait somehow separated into different
sex cells and were again united with another member during fertilization of the egg. This is
Mendel’s principle of segregation.
Mendel also made crosses in which two pure-breeding traits were considered simultaneously to
see if traits were inherited together (i.e. that they passed through the reproductive process as
linked traits). Mendel found that the units of inheritance that code for different traits, assort
independently of each other during seed formation. This is Mendel’s principle of independent
assortment. Today we would say that the alternate alleles controlling a trait (“genes”) are
inherited independently of one another.
Dominant, recessive, homozygous, heterozygous, phenotype, genotype
Know how to draw a simple punnett square.
Lecture 5: The Cell and Cell Division
Know the two types of cells - somatic (body) and sex cells (gametes).
Know the cell structure - membrane, cytoplasm (organelles: ribosome. mitochondria),
nucleus (houses the genetic material = chromosomes)
Know the structure of chromosomes - single vs. double stranded, centromere, genes,
homologous pairs, diploid # (46), haploid # (23)
Know the difference between autosomes (pairs 1-22) and sex chromosomes (pair 23: XX or
Know the structure of DNA - double helix (twisted ladder)
a strand of nucleotides - sugars/phosphate/base group.
Know the four bases: A, T, C, G and how they join in complementary base pairs
Know the basics of cell division:
Mitosis in somatic cells - one division resulting in two identical daughter cells with 46
Meiosis- two divisions resulting in 4 daughter cells with 23 chromo each (diploid to
Meiosis produces variation - recombination (crossing over) and random assortment of
chromosomes to daughter cells.
Lecture 6: Genes and Protein Synthesis
Understand DNA replication - happens in nucleus, for cell division- unwind, unzip, free
nucleotides attach to each strand - result: 2 identical DNA helixes.
Understand Protein Synthesis - DNA in nucleus and can't leave, ribosomes out in
cytoplasm where proteins are made. So...starts like replication - unwind, unzip, one
deactivated strand, one template strand - RNA nucleotides copy DNA (w/ A, U, C, G) -
make messenger RNA (process is transcription). messenger RNA moves to ribosomes for
translation - ribosomes read RNA in groups of three bases (codon), transfer RNA brings
amino acid up and link together.
Human traits discussed so far have been examples of simple (Mendelian) Inheritance. Many
traits are inherited in a more complex manner. What are polygenic traits? - controlled by several
genes, many are strongly influenced by the environment.
How does a qualitative (discrete) trait differ from a quantitative (continuous) trait?
What is a pleiotropic gene?
What is an example of an autosomal dominant trait? (brachydactyly)
What is an example of an autosomal recessive trait? (albinism)
Lecture 7: Four Forces of Evolution
Know the population-level definition of evolution – change in gene frequencies in a
population over time.
Know the four forces of evolution and examples of each.
1) Mutation - random, provides raw material for evolution, important in sex cells, point
mutations and chromosomal mutations.
2) Genetic drift - changes due to chance and isolation (i.e. absence of gene flow).
Minimal effect in large populations; large effect in small populations. Examples of
chance events causing genetic drift: population bottleneck, founder effect.
3) Gene flow (migration) - movement of genes between populations.
4) Natural Selection - most important evolutionary force. Certain variations allow some
individuals in a population to be better adapted than others in certain environments, thus
they are more likely to reproduce (definition of NS – differential reproductive success).
know the sickle cell and malaria example described in class
the maintenance of the sickle cell allele in populations exposed to malaria is an
example of a balanced polymorphism
Lecture 8 Population Genetics
What is the difference between microevolution and macroevolution?
How is lactose tolerance in populations an example of microevolution?
ABO blood types are a good example of polymorphic human variation.
How do we observe microevolution occurring?
What are the characteristics of a population in Hardy Weinberg equilibrium?
Microevolution can be quantified for specific traits by comparing the observed
frequencies of the trait in a real population, with the frequencies expected in a
hypothetical population in which no evolution is occurring (a population in H-W
Lecture 9: Human Variation and Adaptation
Human adaptation - adjustment to an environmental stressor. Can be individual and short
term (acclimatization) or population-level adaptations (genetic).
Review hypoxia (oxygen starvation). Distinguish between acclimatization, developmental
adaptibility and genetic adaptations as they relate to hypoxia.
Review adaptations for cold environments - vasoconstriction, shivering.
Bergman's and Allen’s rules.
Review ultraviolet radiation – selective reasons for light skin and dark skin (vitamin D
synthesis, skin cancer, folate production), what part of the skin produces color and protects
against UV radiation?