Fall 2005 

Ant 101 Online
Introductory Physical Anthropology

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  1. This course begins with an introduction to the major subdivisions of anthropology, evolutionary theory, the biological foundations of life and principles of heredity. The course then moves on to primate taxonomy and ethology (study of behavior), continues with a consideration of modern human biological variation and adaptation, and ends with an extended examination of the several stages of hominid (human) evolution as demonstrated by the fossil record.
  2. Please be aware that this is a demanding and rigorous course. College level reading and writing skills are absolutely necessary for students taking this course. Students must be self-motivated and self-disciplined, possess good time management skills, and have the necessary computer skills and equipment to successfully complete the required work in the course.
  3. The best strategy for success in online Ant 101 is to 

    [a] start the course promptly, 
    [b] budget you study time based on the weekly learning unit assignments
    [c] check in to the Bb online class room at least every other day to read newly posted announcements and other materials, and 
    [d] meet all the assignment deadlines from the very beginning of the semester.

Andrew Habermacher, Ph.D.

  • Office: 2031 Marlboro Hall, Prince George's Com. Coll., Largo, MD
  • Office Phone: (301) 322-0548
  • Email:
  • Fax:    (301) 808-0418

Buy the following books at P. G. C. C. Bookstore (301-322-0912) or at the following online book stores:
 ,  , .

  1. Jurmain, Richard, L. Kilgore, W. Trevathan and H. Nelson.
    2004. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. 5th Edition. Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.
    ISBN: 0-534-61434-5
  2. Angeloni, Elvio (editor) 
    2004. Physical Anthropology 05/06. McGraw-Hill/Dushkin Annual Editions. 14th edition. Guilford, CT: Dushkin-McGraw-Hill. 
    ISBN: 0-07-307908-1

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be CERTAIN you get the exact edition of these books as indicated above. Use the ISBN numbers to be certain. 


In addition to improving their reading comprehension, essay writing, time management and research skills, students who satisfactorily complete this course, students will be able to 

  1. compare and contrast

    [a] the "arboreal hypothesis" with the "visual predation hypothesis,
    [b] the New World monkeys with the Old World monkeys, 
    [c] the reproductive differences among the 3 major mammalian groups, 
    [d] relative dating techniques with "absolute" chronometric techniques, 
    [e] the tool technology of archaic sapiens to that of H. erectus and early modern H. sapiens,
    [f] three basic hypotheses for the origin and dispersal of anatomically modern humans.
    [g] the physical features of Homo erectus and archaic Homo sapiens, 
  2. define 

    hominid, primate, anthropoid, hominoid, DNA, mutation, protein, polymorphism, cline, meiosis, mitosis, biological evolution, natural selection, gene, chromosome, bipedality, species, genus, racial category, biological determinism, race, ethnicity, racism, phylogeny, Miocene, Pliocene, Paleolithic, intraspecies biological variation, autosome, sex cell, inherited dominant trait, inherited recessive trait, mosaic evolution, socioecology and adaptation.  
  3. describe 

    [a] the method by which scientists attempt to understand the world, 
    [b] a case of natural selection, 
    [c] how a mutation occurs and what changes when it does occur, 
    [d] the development of evolutionary thought, 
    [e] Mendel's principles of segregation and independent assortment of chromosomes, 
    [f] the agents that are responsible for generating and distributing variation, 
    [g] the difference between Mendelian (monogenic) and polygenic traits,  
    [h] the reason that different human populations vary, 
    [i] describe the structure of a generalized cell, 
    [j] the process of protein synthesis, 
    [k] the major forms of locomotion found among primates, 
    [l] the temporal and geographic distribution of Homo erectus, 
    [m] the physical & cultural characteristics of Homo erectus, 
    [n] the geographic distribution of archaic Homo sapiens, 
    [o] the confusion about the origin and disappearance of Neanderthal, 
    [q] Neanderthal shelters, subsistence strategies and burials,
    [r] the debate over how to classify early Homo fossil material.  
  4. discuss 

    [a] why genetics is important to the study of evolution, 
    [b] the role natural selection in the direction of evolution, 
    [c] how the diet of pre-agricultural humans has influence on the physiology of modern humans,   
    [d] Lewontin's multivariate study of 17 polymorphic traits, 
    [e] the interaction between genetic & environmental factors on intelligence, 
    [f] why humans vary in skin color, 
    [g] how infectious disease plays a role in human evolution, & vice versa, 
    [h] current culturally mediated factors that may contribute to the spread of infectious disease, 
    [i] possible affects of evolution of flowering plants on primate evolution, 
    [j] aspects of social behavior found among all nonhuman primates, 
    [k] the "mosaic nature" of human evolution,
    [l] the earliest evidence of modern Homo sapiens sapiens, 
    [m] what is meant by human growth and development, 
    [n] examples of the interaction of biology and culture in human growth and development, 
  5. explain 

    [a] what a population is and the evolutionary dynamics that lead to populations, 
    [b] how taxonomic classification reflects biological relationships, 
    [c] how new genetic technologies have been used to deduce evolutionary relationships among the hominoids, 
    [d] how monkeys and apes differ, 
    [e] why anthropologists study non-human primate behavior, 
    [f] how humans respond to the thermal environment, 
    [g] the difficulties of distinguishing the Paleocene primates from other placental mammals of that time, 
    [h] when and where the earliest undoubted primates appear, 
    [i] the evolutionary significance of the Miocene hominoids, 
    [j] the effects of bipedality on hominid body structure, 
    [k] the three major transitions in the evolution of Homo sapiens 
  6. identify

    [a] the steps in analyzing a situation scientifically, 
    [b] the four main fields of anthropology, 
    [c] the main research areas within physical anthropology, and 
    [d] the major influences on the thought of Charles Darwin.   
  7. list 

    [a] the primate evolutionary trends,
    [b] the ways that humans respond to high altitude stress, 
    [c] the major groupings of the anthropoidea (anthropoids), 
    [d] the two major subdivisions of Old World monkeys and features that distinguish them 
    [e] the major adaptive complexes of mammals, 
    [f] the important distinguishing characteristics of a hominid, 
    [g] the technological advances reflected in the erectus tool kit, 
    [h] the physical characteristics of classic Neanderthals, 
    [i] the five basic nutrients and a function for each
  1. This is an online distance learning course. Students must complete required course work on time and in the appropriate sequence. 
  2. Students must login to the online classroom at least every other day to  check the course calendar, read  announcements and new discussion board postings, take quizzes, submit written  assignments and post discussion board messages. Students are responsible for keeping up with and adhering to the due dates and other instructions posted there in the course calendar and announcements areas of the Blackboard online classroom. 
  3. Students must maintain a working email address and check it every 48 hours. Students must respond to email messages within 48 hours.
  4. Ask questions about the course in the Bb Discussion Board designated for that purpose rather than via email. Throughout the semester, please use discussion board conference 01 to post any questions you have about the course. This way course such questions - which others may also have -  may be answered for all class members to see. This saves the instructor having to answer the same question over and over via email.
  5. Email the instructor about exceptional, personal issues that you think should remain private.  If routine course related questions are emailed to the instructor, they will not be answered. To ensure your questions are answered, post them i in the appropriate Bb Discussion Board Conference. 
  6. Unless otherwise indicated, grades for properly submitted written assignments will appear in the Bb online grade book within 10 days
  7. Because we will interact almost exclusively through writing, the quality of your writing counts toward your grade. Spelling, grammar, sentence construction, word choice, organization and clarity of expression are considered when the instructor grades your various written assignments. Generally, 60 % of an essay assignment grade is for quality of content and 40% is based on quality of written expression.
  8. Code of Academic Integrity
    Students taking this course are bound by the Prince George's Community College Code of Academic Integrity which may be found at .  It is the responsibility of all students to know and abide by this code.
  9. Student  Disability Services
    A student with a disability must make known his/here disability to Student Services at Prince George's Community College. Student Services will indicate to the course instructor what accommodation(s), if any, are necessary owing to the student's disability.
  1. The Blackboard (Bb) web site is  When you browse to it, you will find instructions about how to gain entry into the online course(s) for which you have registered. You will need a user name and a password (access code) in order to login..
  2. Once you successfully login to the Bb online classroom for Ant 101, click the TOOLS button to find a manual explaining the various functionalities of Blackboard. Please consult it when you have questions about how to use the various Blackboard elements.
  3. Explore the Ant 101 Bb class room by clicking on the menu buttons on the left of the page to read announcements, use the chat room, view a course calendar, take quizzes, see grades, view & post messages to the discussion board, use email & consult other materials placed there by your instructor.
  4. Always be sure to LOGOUT of Bb when you finish your session. The logout icon is found at top right of the Bb screen.
  5. The SUBMIT button is found throughout Bb. When ever you have created something in Bb, such as a posting to a Discussion Board Conference, you will need to scroll down and click on the SUBMIT button. If you fail to do so, your work has not  be successfully uploaded into Bb. 

Here are some preliminary data about Bb elements you'll be using and some instructions about how you are expected to use them.

  1. Quizzes:

    Scheduled, required quizzes are taken on-line & must be completed
    during the days indicated for it in the course calendar. 
    Quizzes usually consist of multiple choice and/or true-false questions which are based on the reading assignments. There are no make-up quizzes given.  
    Quiz grades are
    cumulatively added throughout the semester. Once you reach the maximum number of points allowed for quizzes in this course, any additional quiz points you earn will not count toward your
    semester grade.

    A quiz may be accessed from the menu button entitled Quizzes.
    Feel free to use your books and notes when taking the quiz.  However, if you exceed the allotted time or fail to properly SUBMIT the quiz, a red exclamation mark (
    !)   will appear instead of a grade and you may receive no credit for having taken the quiz.
  2. Announcements

    You are expected to read all announcements posted by the instructor. Check announcements each time you login being sure to read all announcements posted since the last time you logged in.

    Announcements are automatically shown to you on entry to the Bb online classroom. Some are permanent and always show. Others only show during the day they are posted. To see the previously posted nonpermanent announcements, select one of the tabs (last seven days, last month, etc) and use the scroll bar on the right of the screen.

  3. Assignments 
    Find the weekly assignments by clicking  the Bb Assignments menu button. Each folder in the assignments area contains a checklist list of  activities, i.e., reading assignment, quiz,  pertinent external links, place to submit essay assignment, and discussion board.  

  4. Discussion Boards (a.k.a. Conferences)
    Participation in
    discussions is required & graded. Their purpose is to stimulate study & discussion of the course material in each learning unit.
    must make at least three high quality contributions to each discussion board topic posted by the instructor. One contribution  must be a  new thread to the discussion board assignment  and other contributions  (at least two) must be replies to the new threads posted by other students.
    To be eligible to earn
    full credit for participation, a student must make contributions prior to the closing date for the forum as indicated in the Blackboard course calendar.
    Points earned for
    discussion participation are cumulative. Once the full number of points allotted for discussion board contributions has been reached, any additional points will not be counted toward the semester grade. discussion board contributions has been reached, any additional points will not be counted toward the semester grade.
  5. Chats  (Called LIGHT WEIGHT CHAT in Bb and found by clicking  COMMUNICATION button  and then selecting  COLLABORATION.)

    A few on-line chats are conducted during the semester as indicated in the course calendar. They serve as online office hours held by the professor. They are optional and participation in them earn no points. Chat times will vary.
  1. On-campus Distance Learning Orientation not required:  

    I do not require my online students to attend a required on-campus orientation. The information in the course schedule, on the PGCC Distance Learning web site and on my website at should provide sufficient orientation if read carefully.  

  2. The examinations are usually taken online. However,  if there are technical problems you may be required to take the exam(s) at the campus testing center. 
  1. Your grade will be based on your performance on the course requirements. Points are earned based on the values for each course requirement stated above.
  2. The following table indicates the various kinds of graded assignments and the point values of each type of assignment. The semester grade is based on 1000 points.




Entrance Essay (1)

Comment: See Module 01 or course calendar for due date.

15 ea 15

Analytical Essays (2)

Comment: You have 4 chances to write 2 essays. Each has a due date. They may not be submitted after their due date. Please note  that If you turn in  more than 2 essays, only the highest 2 grades will count toward your final grade. 

100 ea   200
Internet Assignments (3) 

Comment: You have 5 chances to write 3 Internet essays. Each has a different due date  They may not be turned in after their due dates. Please note that if you turn in more than 3 Internet essays, only the 3 highest grades will count toward your final grade.

70 ea   210
Online Discussion Board Conferences (9)

Comment: You will have at least 09 online discussion board conferences during the semester and there are no make up assignments for missed conferences. Conference grades accumulate until reaching 200 points or all conferences are finished - which ever comes first. Please note: If you earn more than 200 conference points, only 200 will count toward the final grade calculation. 

25 ea   200
On-line Quizzes (13)

Comment: You will have 13 online quizzes during the semester and there are no make ups for missed quizzes. Quiz  grades accumulate until reaching 160 pts or until all quizzes are over - which ever comes first. Please note: If you earn more than 160 quiz points, 160 is the maximum that will count toward the final grade calculation. 

15 ea  160
Exit Essay (1)

Comment: Due during the final week of the course.

15 ea    15
Mid Semester Exam (aka Final Exam Part 01)   

Comment: May be taken twice - once half way through the course and once during final exam week. Highest grade counts.

100 ea 100

End Semester Exam (aka Final Exam Part 02)

Comment: May be taken twice - once a week before the end of the course and  and once during final exam week. Highest grade counts.

100 ea   100




  1. The Meaning of Letter Grades.
    "A" is given only for excellent or very good work.
    is awarded for good work. 
    "C" is
    fair or satisfactory work. 
    "D" is
    given for poor work.
    "F" is
    unsatisfactory or failing.
    who show "excellent, good, fair, poor or unsatisfactory" understanding of the course content demonstrate this by "excellent, good, fair, poor or unsatisfactory" mastery of reading material & ideas (concepts, topics) through their performances in discussions, quizzes, chats, essays & exams.
  2. What is the grade number scale used in this course?
Semester Letter Grade Total Usable Points Earned
A 900-1000
B 800--899
C 700--799
D 600-699
F 599 or less

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 Revised 23 August 2005