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heel bone.
the process of determining the date of an object.
a period on the geologic time scale approximately dating from 540 million years to 500 million years; marks the appearance of the first metazoan skeletons, reefs and vertebrates. The Cambrian was dominated by trilobites.
a single cusped tooth located between the first premolar and the lateral incisor.
canine reduction

refers to canine teeth that are smaller in all dimensions.

14C; an unstable Carbon isotope that decays into a stable Nitrogen isotope; has a half-life of 5,730 years.
Carbon-14 dating
an absolute dating technique that measures the amount of 14Carbon present in a sample; can only be used on organic material dating between a few hundred years old to about 40,000 years old. Note: the older the object, the greater the probability of error in the dating process. See also radiocarbon dating.
a period in the Paleozoic era on the geologic time scale approximately dated from 345 to 280 million years. It is called the "Age of Vegetation" because many swamps covered the earth

a dietary category that describes animals that specialize in eating only meat; animals included in the taxonomic order Carnivora.

in taxonomic classification, any member of the infraorder Catarrhini including Old World monkeys, apes and humans.
the relative term used for quadrupedal animals (those that travel on four legs) to describe features that are closer to the tail of the trunk; the opposite of cranial; the term inferior is a synonym commonly used when referring to bipedal hominins.

[Greek: "recent life"] an era on the geologic time scale that approximately dates from 65 million years to the present; contains the geologic periods Quaternary and Tertiary. It is also known as the "Age of Mammals," since this was the time when many mammals evolved.

in taxonomic classification, members of the family Cercopithecidae, including Old World monkeys.

an anatomical, physiological, or behavioral features of an organism.

character state

the absence, presence, or developmental state (e.g., size and shape) of a character.

cheek teeth
a post-canine tooth in primates used for crushing.
a raw material used to make stone tools. Chert is similar to flint and found irregular formations throughout sedimentary deposits.
stage in human development after infancy and before juvenile; considered to be between the ages of 3 and 12 years old in most cultures.

usually a simple cobble-sized tool with a few flakes removed from its perimeter to form a cutting edge; typical of the Oldowan tool industry.

a large molecule found in cells that contains DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes (44 autosomal and 2 sexual), but different species have different chromosomal numbers.

in cladistics, a species or group of species that represents the descendants from a single common ancestor; a holophyletic group.

cladistic analysis
a type of classification that looks at evolutionary histories based on the analysis of shared derived traits.
cladogenetic speciation
a splitting or diversification event, usually over a short period of geologic time. As populations begin to differ more and more from one another, they may eventually be recognized as different geographic variants of the same species. Given enough time, they will be recognized as separate species.

a chart that demonstrates evolutionary relationships based on derived traits; the ultimate result of cladistic analysis.

arrangement of organisms into groups based on comparable characteristics.
closed environment
an geographic area with a substantial canopy of foliage limiting the amount of light that is able to reach the ground.
Clovis point

a bifacial projectile point dating to about 11,000 years before present and known from the Americas; probably hafted to spears and were used for big game hunting.

an articular prominence of a bone.
from birth.
organisms belonging to the same species.
place in space and time.
continental drift
the movement of continents due to plate tectonic processes.
[syn. convergent evolution] the adaptations of similar traits in two or more unrelated species either by chance or through similarity of function; the opposite of divergent evolution. Bat wings and butterfly wings are an example of convergent evolution.
lithic material resulting from the removal of tool material and debitage flakes from its surface.
coronal suture
the suture between the frontal and parietal bones in the cranium.
the rough outside of raw stone materials formed by chemical and mechanical weathering processes.
cortical bone

the thick exterior layer of smooth bone..

an adjective that describes the ribs.
refers to the skull and mandible; a relative term used for quadrupedal organisms (those that travel on two legs) to describe features that are closer to the head or top of the body; opposite of caudal. The term superior is a synonym commonly used when referring to bipedal hominin anatomy.

the bones that surrounds the brain case; the skull excluding the mandible and hyoid bones.

describes organisms that are mostly active during dusk and dawn.

a ridge on the chewing surface of a tooth that connects the cusps to one another.

a period in the Mesozoic era on the geologic time scale that approximately dates from 136 million years to 65 Million years; marked by a mass extinction event at the end of the period effecting the dinosaurs and many marine organisms.
cross cutting relationships
any igneous intrusion or cutting event (i.e., fault) is always younger than the strata through which it cuts; can be used as a relative dating technique.

a rounded or pointed projection made of enamel on the chewing surface of a tooth

cut mark
an incision on a bone or fossil made by stone tools as opposed to carnivores' teeth; can be seen using a microscope or with the naked eye.