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Tanner Cloward

Anthropology
Marisa Maughan
July 29, 2015
Evolutionary Theory Research Paper

My college and I decided to take on the challenge of making a Ape version of the
life board game that would be primarily for family fun and family education. Our goal
was to create a fun game that would inform individuals of the family about natural
selection and how it could work specifically with apes. How we decided to do this is by
providing examples of this such as, an ape fighting another ape to win other a potential
female mate, allowing him to reproduce and become the top alpha. To provide a clear
understanding of Natural Selection Stephen Kilpatrick an associate professor of Biology
describes, Natural selection is commonly defined as survival of the fittest, although
this is often misinterpreted to mean that individuals who are somehow better than others
will survive while the others will not. As long as the traits convey some advantage in
reproduction so that the individuals offspring are better represented in the next
generation, then natural selection is occurring. The advantage may be a better ability to
survive, or it may be something else, such as the ability to produce more offspring.
(Natural selection. By: Kilpatrick, Stephen T., PhD, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health,
January, 2014) As explained in this quote we can gain a better knowledge of the purpose
of natural selection, which basically survival and reproduction.
Our journey in starting this project begin by gaining knowledge on the subject of
Human Evolution. Generally when people hear about Human Evolution, they think about
humans evolving from apes. This indeed plays an important role in human evolution, but

there is more to it than that. Gregory Retallack a geological sciences member since 1981
explains,The most important evidence of human evolution is fossil remains. Many
thousands of such fossils have been found over the years, but scientific excitement still is
aroused by the discovery of an especially complete skull or skeleton. The bones are
compared with one another and with bones of living apes and humans in order to
reconstruct the modifications to bone shape that have evolved over geological time and to
determine what they may indicate concerning the lifestyle of early humans. The use of Xrays can reveal bone structures and evidence of stress or disease not visible on the surface
of the bones. Medical computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans also are used to
explore the interior spaces of fossil skulls. Study under the scanning electron microscope
can distinguish scrapes on bone surfaces made by cutting with tools from those made by
gnawing. Images of microscopic grooves and pits on the surface of teeth can be a clue to
the hardness and grit content of the diet of human ancestors.(Evolution of humans. By:
Retallack, Gregory J., Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science, January, 2015)
As explained in this quote we can gain more understanding about human evolution and
that the study of fossils and skeletons are very essential for the theory of Human
evolution.
Our main goal in this project was to provide a positive learning experience for the
family to learn about natural selection and it working at its finest among apes. An
example of a physical characteristic is explain by Prancing Papio, Great apes
(orangutan, gorilla and chimpanzee) depend on their teeth to get them through tough
times when food is scarce. Natural selection favor individuals with teeth that can process
fallback foods, foods that are harder than the great apes normal diet of fruits. The
evolution of the thickness of enamel in great apes reflects the mechanical demand of their
diet.(Prancing Papio) Ultimately, our game shows the life of apes and they fight to be
able to survive and reproduce. Each player competes to become the best survivor and
reproducer.

Natural selection. By: Kilpatrick, Stephen T., PhD, Salem Press Encyclopedia of

Health, January, 2014


Evolution of humans. By: Retallack, Gregory J., Salem Press Encyclopedia of
Science, January, 2015
Among apes, teeth are made for the toughest times By: Papio, Prancing.
ScienceDaily. 22 December 2009