3D Modeling: Hominid Chimera

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.48.21 AMI always had great interest in Greek mythology when I was younger. I was familiar with the mythological characterization of a chimera and when we discussed chimeras in class, I was inspired to make a chimera but with the fossils of an early human. To make my hominid chimera, I used models exclusively from africanfossils.org. While I was in New Zealand studying abroad, I took a course called Origins of Human Civilizations. We learned about the evolution of early humans, something that has always interested me. From the bank of 3-d models, I chose to use the best preserved skull of a Homo erectus, the first early hominid to leave Africa. I removed some of the front teeth with the sculpt tool in Blender and attached a modern rhinoceros jaw. I also added antlers to the top of the skull. In addition, I “downgraded” or “devolved” the morphological characteristics of the H. erectus skull by using the sculpt tool to engineer a more robust sagittal crest and brow ridge, characteristic of an earlier hominid family known as Paranthropus, or robust Australopithecines. I wanted to imagine a biological history in which humanity progressed in a different direction. This model helps us envision a reality in which hominids have taken a vastly new form.

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