Phylogenetic Analysis

With Phylogenetic analysis, one compares similarities between certain organisms, throughout their evolution.   Through careful assessment of osteometric and molecular sequencing data, scientists have discovered remarkable insight into the evolutionary progression of humans.   The exercises this week were very informative as to the method scientists use to study this information.   Examining skulls and evolutionary data, helped to acquire a larger understanding of what scientists have been studying for a long time.
The skulls we examined had an astonishing array of characteristics and similarities.   However, I found the most incredible for me, was the differences.   Seeing the dissimilarity between an Australopithecine skull and a Homo skull was shocking.   Human evolution has truly come so far throughout the ages; it is hard to even believe this has happened.   Only in the broken down exercises, could I in fact, begin to understand how this amazing process has taken place.
Seeing the most primitive Australopithecine skulls compared to a Modern Homo Sapiens skull, you can see minute similarity in the characteristics.   They are much more general, none too detailed or none that you can really see the exact development of the change.   When examining the middle stages of the skulls, I was able to see the sequence of the evolutionary process a little bit easier.  
When comparing the Australopithecine skulls with the Early Homo and Homo Erectus Skulls, there are some impressive changes that had taken place.   The most obvious changes that I noticed were the brow ridges and the foreheads.   Through more careful examining, I began to see the differences in the endocranial volume, changes in teeth shapes and sizes, and overall face shape.   The changes are small, yet I defiantly can distinguish the first step (that we know of) of the evolutionary process taking place.   The next observations I made were the changes between the Homo Erectus Skulls and the Neanderthals Skulls.   The...