The Evolution of Man
Sharing an Ancestor
According to genetic studies, humans, as well as other primates, evolved from other mammals roughly 85 million years ago. Earliest fossils supporting this theory come from 55 million years ago. Gradually these other primates spun off to start their own evolution, as ours began its.
Australopithecine is what Earth's earliest bipedals evolved into, and from there became the genus "Homo". Australopithecine means Southern Ape, in reference to Southern Africa where the remains were found. One might of heard of the famous Australopithecine "Lucy" who was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. Lucy stood three and a half feet tall and had wisdom teeth. After being on tour in the U.S. her bones were returned on May 2, 2013.
A common nickname for homo hablis is "the handy man". Homo hablis was our first ancestor to use tools, e.g. knives and spears. It had a short body and long ape-like arms -quite similar to australapithocines-, yet big brains and small teeth -in comparision to other primates of the time. Their brains were 47% of the modern human. They lived through out Eastern and Southern Africa. They were one of the first from the genus homo to eat meat. Homo hablis would go to discarded animal carcasses and crack open the bones with stone tools in order to suck out bone marrow. Alas, homo hablis was not always fortunate enough to get meat, so they would have to eat on hard-to-chew veggies.
Homo erectus -as its name suggests- was the first hominid to stand up right. They were the first homoinids to migrate out of Africa. Not only was homo erectus believed to have lived in hunter-gatherer societies, but they also used rafts to drift on the oceans.
They were the first to wander their way into Europe. Remains left by them show they were the first to build shelters and hunt big game with wooden spears.
They had big noses for humidifying and warming cold, dry air. Their bodies were built to conserve heat. Since they lived in glacial areas they wore clothing. They are also believed to have had language, bury their dead and have symbolic behavior.
Homo Sapien Sapien
This is complex species is us! We now live all around the globe, wear clothing, and have developed technology far beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors!
This video starts human evolution from marine animals, so feel free to skip to 2:01, where it begins with primates.
"Human Evolution Timeline." Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. Web. 8 May 2013. <http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-evolution-timeline-interactive>.