Early Hominin Teaching Activities

There is a lot to cover in the Plio-Pleistocene when it comes to hominin evolution. So, I put together 4 activities that will hopefully help students determine how one might identify an early hominin, assess the bipedal ability of the current earliest hominin contenders, critically assess competing hypotheses for why bipedality evolved, examine the wide range of Australopithecine variation during the Plio-Pleistocene.

You can find all four under #8 of my Teaching Activities Page.

Paleo-Reconstruction Activity Results

PaleoReconstruction Plesiosaur
Plesiosaur reconstruction by Notre Dame students

Today I ran the Paleo-Reconstruction activity in my class, and I could not be happier with how it went. Students were provided with a picture of a fossil as though they were the ones to take it out of the ground. They had to analyze the anatomy and infer behavior. They were given more information as time went on such as the date of the fossil, other specimens found, and comparative specimens to refine their reconstruction.

You can find the activity, #6, here. Below is a compilation of the students’ work. Each slide has picture of the initial fossil, a professional reconstruction, and the students’ reconstruction.  I am stunned how close they got – especially with the Tully Monster!

Fossil Reconstruction Results

Powerlifting & Anthropology

Having recently changed jobs, I also recently changed gyms. I have an incredibly complicated relationship with my previous gym and a deep emotional attachment. In order to work through my experience there, I wrote a piece for Sapiens.

This was an incredibly difficult bit of writing to work through, and brought me to tears countless times. I hope this is the start of a future project looking at culture and performance among powerlifters.

I hope you enjoy, or at least get something out of it.