Today’s society has a deep interest in the origins and evolution of our species. Scientists have come a long way since the discovery of the Neanderthals, more than 150 years ago. They now have much more complex theories in which genetic studies play a central role.
We can certainly situate our ancestors in Africa and relate them to other primates from whom they diverged about 7 million years ago. This evolutionary process was marked by the physical signs of adaptation to climate and environmental changes: upright position and mobility based on back legs, which freed arms and hands. But the most important adaptation was the change of their brains, which grew and became the body’s main energy consumer. With roughly a 600 cm3 brain, this Homo habilis developed the ability to produce simple tools for the first time in the history of humankind. After many repeated experiments, another ancestor, Homo ergaster, whose brain was probably around 1000 cm3, began to make sets of symmetrical tools called “bifaces”. The production and use of these tools constantly reinforced their cognitive skills. They were also able to create artefacts composed of different materials by using different techniques. All this finally led to changes in their social organization.
The best evidence of human life from more than a million years ago has been discovered in Atapuerca. Several species have been reconstructed thanks to the remarkably good state of the unearthed human skulls and bones. They have been used as a basis for studies on human evolution. However, two things remain unclear: how they migrated and extended throughout the different areas and how they communicated.
I. READING COMPREHENSIONANSWER QUESTIONS 1-3 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
1. What physical changes did our ancestors go through to adapt to the environment? PAR.2
2. What were the great advances of Homo ergaster? Mention two. PAR.2
3. Which two aspects of human evolution have not been clarified yet? PAR.3
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT, OR USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
4. There is no difference between Homo habilis and Homo ergaster’s brain.
- FALSE: The second one has a bigger brain and the instruments they make were more complicated and specialised.
- TRUE: Several species have been reconstructed thanks to the remarkably good state of the unearthed human skulls and bones
II. USE OF ENGLISH6. FIND IN THE TEXT THE WORD WHICH HAS THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION:”A person related to you who lived a long time ago”.
- Neanderthals differ from the rest of primates.
“Did Michael try to call me yesterday?”, he said.
She is designing a special dress for me.
a) drive b) driving) c) to drive
- Would you let me drive your car?
I am going to take French lessons three times a week.
III. PRODUCTION14. WRITE A COMPOSITION OF APPROXIMATELY 120 WORDS ABOUT THE TOPIC PROPOSED AND FOCUS STRICTLY ON IT:
- Which invention or inventions have changed the world the most and why?