OSHR 1193 - Eight Million Years of Hominid History, Sahelanthropus to Homo floresiensi

  • Noncredit

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

During the last decade, our understanding of deep human history has increased astonishingly. The first fossil hominids discovered (1850-1925) were Old Man Neanderthal, Pithecanthropus {"Java Man" or "Peking Man"), Piltdown Man (oopsI) and the Tuang child. Today’s human family tree includes at least 19 species of hominids assigned to four genera. Four older Australopithecine taxa can also be counted, or not.

In this class, we will meet our family members and explore some of the analytical tools used to study their anatomy, diet, and geologic age.

Reading: Pyne, Lydia, Seven Skeletons: the evolution of the world’s most famous human fossils, 2016, Viking Press, ISBN: 978-0-525-42985-2 ISBN: 978-0-698-40942-2 (e book)

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.


William Cornell

William Cornell earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology at the University of Rhode Island and Ph.D. from UCLA. He taught geology at the University of Texas at El Paso, with stints as department chair, assistant dean of the College of Science, as "pre-med" advisor, and taught in the Osher Program at UTEP for 15 years. He received a number of teaching and service awards from UTEP. In 2007, he received the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He is a master naturalist in the Fort Collins Natural Areas Department.