(4) Do the (mostly Asian) fossils of Homo erectus represent a single species that lived for 2 million years or a sequence of species flourishing around 1.6 million, 1.2 million and 200,000 years ago? Dotted lines indicate the conjectural evolutionary lines of descent. (Different paleoanthropologists will connect these in different ways, while preserving the chronological sequence.). Some small hand axes had also been discovered. Required fields are marked *. Under the current taxonomy (based on genetic rather than behavioral criteria), the term "hominid" refers to members of the biological human family Hominidae: living humans, all human ancestors, the many extinct members of Australopithecus, and our closest primate relatives, the chimpanzee and gorilla. Two pieces of evidence confirm their Hominid status: The fossil of this genus was first discovered in 1924 in South Africa.
As environmental or climate context, the major Ice Age epochs in recent human experience were  the Wisconsin, 11,000-35,000 years ago (the most extreme of recent coolings), and  the Illinoian, 130,000-190,000 years ago, with an intermediate ice era around 60,000-70,000 years ago. These are deemed to be the ancestors of both man and apes. ", "Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins" (book by John Gurche), What Does It Mean To Be Human? Biologists use three types of evidence to deduce evolutionary connections: genetics, morphology, and geologic dating. When Dryopithecus was alive, the tropical lowlands which it inhabited were densely forested, so the members could have predominantly been herbivores. Whether the genus Homo first emerged in southern or … (3) Are the (mostly African) examples of Homo erectus descended from Homo ergaster; or are they either (a) descended from Homo habilis or (b) descended from the same ancestor as Homo habilis? These numbers suggest the relative reliability of the species classifications they support. Humans are believed to have developed from simpler forms. Indeed, the variety discovered in the fossils, and the diversity of expert judgments as to how the variety in the fossils should be interpreted, together illustrate the physical and cultural divergences that seem characteristic of all human existence, then as now. Homo erectus used tools comprising quartz. Homo erectus and Homo habilis coexisted in Africa, probably in different ecological niches, for almost 500,000 years. Hominoidea - all of the above, plus gibbons (Hylobatoidae). Ardipithecus, the common primate ancestor to paranthropines, australopithecines and humans, went extinct about 4 million years ago. Ardipithecus, the common primate ancestor to paranthropines, australopithecines and humans, went extinct about 4 million years ago. The following are the stages of human evolution: 1. How these different species may have interacted, interbred or contested for resources is unclear. Under each species name is a list of the national or geographical areas where all or most of its fossil remains have been found.
Human Evolution Was Messy The human lineage of Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. They were 4 feet tall and weighed 60-80 pounds. They gathered food through hunting. The possible tensions between coexistence and competition is a key missing piece in the story of human evolution, especially as this relates to species succession within the same geographic area, the rapid pace of human dispersal into new geographic areas, and episodes of interbreeding as lineages met after long separation. There is evidence of collective huntings. (book by Richard Potts and Chris Sloan). For that reason I have omitted several descent connections in the diagram, although the species distinctions and time spans shown in the diagram appear to be adequately documented. They lived in China, Africa, Europe, and India. Your email address will not be published. The genetic evidence of interbreeding between the species is consistent with the common practice in ancient Eurasian cultures of the sexual and labor exploitation of the defeated. Usage of hands for food and defence, and extrapolations of upright posture. Specific behavioral conclusions require specific parts of the skeleton.
There is also evidence of the use of fire. Time spans for modern humans, Neanderthals and archaic Homo sapiens (H. heidelbergensis) have been extended back beyond accepted fossil limits to accommodate recent genetic evidence that the divergence between the Neanderthal and human lines occurred around 500,000 years ago. (Grades 6-8), Comparison of Human and Chimp Chromosomes (Grades 9-12), Hominid Cranial Comparison: The "Skulls" Lab (Grades 9-12), Investigating Common Descent: Formulating Explanations and Models (Grades 9-12), Teaching Evolution through Human Examples, Members Thoughts on Science, Religion & Human Origins (video), Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism: Primer, The Evolution of Religious Belief: Seeking Deep Evolutionary Roots, Laboring for Science, Laboring for Souls: Obstacles and Approaches to Teaching and Learning Evolution in the Southeastern United States, Public Event : Religious Audiences and the Topic of Evolution: Lessons from the Classroom (video), Evolution and the Anthropocene: Science, Religion, and the Human Future, Imagining the Human Future: Ethics for the Anthropocene, I Came from Where?
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