It is, however, likely that the environment itself may change, and as a result the evolutionary adaptations of a species may work against their survival. A good example of this is the peppered moth in England. Two varieties of this moth were prevalent near Manchester; one was a light mottled gray color while the other was a darker shade. The lighter gray moth was more populous than the darker gray moth because it was able to camouflage itself better due to its lighter color: it was harder for birds to detect it against the trees, and, therefore, ate less of that variety than the darker moth which was easier to spot.With the coming of the industrial revolution the lighter colored moth’s population dwindled while the darker colored moth’s population flourished. The environment changed due to the dark smog produced by the surrounding factories. Basically, the lighter colored moth became easier for the birds to spot, whereas the darker one became harder for them to spot.
The natural pressure of the birds eating more of the light moths gave them less of a chance to reproduce successfully while the darker colored moth had a greater chance.In viewing humans in such terms, an evaluation of their place in the scheme of things is necessary. In taxonomy, where scientists classify the natural word of living things, humans, obviously, fall into the category or Kingdom, as it is called, of Animalia.
The Kingdom Animalia is the main category under which many other sub-categories exist for general to more specific classifications of multi-cellular organisms. Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species are these respective sub-categories.Humans are classified respectively as Chordata (Subphylum Vertebrata – having a vertebrae), Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae, Homo, and H. sapiens (H.
is for Homo). Class plays a particularly important role in anthropology: defining humans as mammals tells the anthropologist how humans conceive, gestate, and care for their offspring in successful reproduction of the species. Order, Family, Genus, and species, however, are just as important. Anthropologists are able to get a better picture as to how humans evolved when studying their classification. Humans have gone through many interim stages of evolution.It is widely believed that H. sapiens and the great apes evolved from a common ancestor, Australopithecus.
Australopithecine fossils were prevalent in South Africa, and East Africa and date anywhere from 8 to 1. 6 million years ago. From Australopithecus evolved H. habilis (handy man), H. erectus (upright man), and then modern H. sapiens. It is important to note that Australopithecus refers to a different genus than Hominidae, but evolved, or diverged to yield better suited hominids, which humans descend from.
There is much fossil evidence supporting the evolutionary links and lineage of H.sapiens.What is most important to note, however, is that with every new species significant evolutionary adaptations occurred. It is easy to see how much of a contribution anthropology makes to better understanding human experience. As its main goal anthropology sets out to make sense of how humans live and what motivates them to act in similar and, most often, very different ways. The different sub-categories of anthropology and collaboration with other sciences better help anthropologists investigate, organize, and understand their subject matter.Evolution plays a big part in helping anthropologists piece together where humans come from and how they have changed over time.
There are yet many unanswered questions in anthropology, but with advances in science being applied to existing theories and data some answers may be found. The study of humans is a big undertaking and some questions will never be answered, but what ever pieces of the puzzle anthropologists can fit together will only enrich human experienced.