(50 points)

Compare modern human behavior to behavior of any other animal (including our hominin ancestors), using real-life observation combined with web-based research.


  1. Choose ONE specific aspect of behavior to focus on, and record your observations of real-live humans.  For example: food sharing, conflict management, or interactions under the influence of alcohol.
  2. Find a TedTalk or YouTube video that features non-human animals exhibiting similar or contrasting behavior.  You are welcome to interpret this broadly, and bring your human creativity here. Provide a link to that video.
  3. Post a brief description of the human behavior that you observed, a description of the behavior that is described or shown in your web resource, and a comparison/contrast of similarities and differences between humans and our non-human relatives.
  4. Conclude with a hypothesis explaining the similarities and/or differences that you have observed in an evolutionary context: i.e., how have these behaviors facilitated survival and reproductive success, why have they been selected for?
  5. Respond to at least two classmates!
  6. While this assignment asks for specific things, it also adheres to the Discussion Rubric we’ve been using all quarter.

I hope that many of you will choose to use this as an opportunity to deepen your reflection on human nature in an evolutionary context during the holiday week, but again, the assignment is optional.  Late submissions will not be accepted. If you do not include everything required (see list above), you will not receive full points.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to post links to your resources.


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