The whole history of man’s evolution, as far as it is known, has been traced in remains of 200 – 300 skulls and other small pieces of bones that have been pieced together at scattered sites in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Despite the fact that fossil record of primitive apes and men is poor, we have enough shreds of evidence to describe the pattern of evolution of man.
The modern man has undoubtedly evolved from Cro-Magnon man about 25,000 years ago. The whole picture of early evolution, however, changes every day with a new find of human fossil or application of new technology that reveals new facts.
The fossil evidence for immediate ancestors of modern humans is divided into genera Australopithecus and Homo and begins about 5 million years ago.
Where did we come from?
Our evolutionary history is written into our genome. The human genome looks at the method it does because of all the genetic changes that have actually affected our forefathers.
Modern human beings (Homo sapiens), the species that we are, indicate ‘wise man‘ in Latin. Our species is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern people originated in Africa within the past 200,000 years and evolved from their most likely recent common ancestor, Homo erectus, which implies ‘upright man’ in Latin. Homo erectus is an extinct species of human that lived between 1.9 million and 135,000 years earlier.
From basic life forms that were simple unicellular to the development of multicellular organisms triggered the vertebrates. The vertebrates began developing which resulted in the advancement of mammals. Among the mammals, humans are most closely related to primates such as the orangutan.
The family to which human beings belong is called Hominidae. It was in the Miocene age that the household Hominidae divided from the Pongidae(apes) household. Dryopithecus was the first in the development of man in the stages of evolution and some believe him to be the common ancestor of humans and apes.
Human Evolution Timeline
Human development has been through numerous stages; however, seven various stages of humanity stand out. Keep in mind that palaeontology is a science rife with emerging discoveries which specifics about the timeline might change in the future, although the basic scheme is well understood and accepted.
He was the earliest known ancestor of humans. At the same time as his existence, Ramapethicus existed who was more human-like than Dryopithecus. Dryopithecus occupied the European region and some parts of Asia and Africa. The stages of evolution of human beings began from him. After Dryopithecus and Ramapethicus pertained to the genus Australopithecus which preceded the genus Homo.
The apes that would ultimately develop into the human these days split from the so-called lower apes about 7 million years earlier. These are the Hominidae or great apes. This is the approximate time span given for the divergence of the human family tree from that of chimpanzees, human beings’ closest making it through family members.
This divergence is thought to have taken place in Africa, with lots of early hominid fossils collected in Kenya. A number of various candidates exist in regards to which organism eventually developed into a modern-day man instead of eventually dying off.
Australopithecus ramidus: Was 1.2 meters high and the fossils reveal the foramen magnum that was large to show upright walking. The forelimbs were different from those of the earlier ape-like ancestors. They had teeth like humans.
Australopithecus afarensis— ‘Lucy’ the well-known fossil belonged to this species. They are stated to have actually lived in the African mainland. And they were shorter than the Australopithecus ramidus and had a little skull with flat noses and no chin. They were able to stroll on 2 legs however the legs were a little bowed which made their walk somewhat ape-like. The bowed legs, fingers, and toes allowed them to climb trees and live there. They had large teeth and jaws.
Australopithecus africanus– These likewise occupied the African mainland. They were bipedal and had a small skull with small brains than Homo erectus but larger than their predecessors. Likewise, they had large teeth compared to current day humans and were herbivorous. They had large jaws.
Australopithecusrobustus– He was taller than his predecessors but still ape-like. They also weighed more than their ancestors. After the Australopithecus genus came the Homo genus. The very first man in the genus was Homo habilis.
Homo habilis means “handy man,” and the species is so named because at the time of its discovery in 1960 in Tanzania, it was the very first human forefather believed to have actually utilized manmade tools. These hominids spanned a period from about 2.4 million to about 1.4 million years back and are believed to have actually been ancestors of Homo erectus, though this remains to be validated.
Homo habilis ranged from about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet high, however, weighed just about 70 pounds.
This popular forefather of contemporary human beings, found in Indonesia in 1891, lived from practically 2 million years ago to roughly 143,000 years back, a remarkable period of survival. The body of Homo erectus reflected its additional elimination from twee-dwelling species, with reasonably short arms and relatively brief legs.
These hominids apparently used hand axes, making them the very first users of tools they created themselves. These were big hominids, some reaching a height of 6 feet and a weight of about 150 pounds.
After Homo erectus came, the Homo Sapiens who separated into two types:
1) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
They had a brain size larger than contemporary men and were massive in size. Also, they had a large head and jaw and were really effective and muscular. They were predators and the tools from the period indicate they were hunters. They were also cave dwellers but their caves were comfier and they resided in groups and searched for food collection.
2) Homo sapiens sapiens
Also called ‘modern-day man’ is what we are today. Compared to the Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, they became smaller in size and the brain size minimized to 1300cc. There was likewise a decrease in the size of the jaw, rounding of the skull, and chin. Cro- Magnon was the earliest of the Homo sapiens.
They spread larger from Europe, Australia, and the Americas. They were omnivores, had skillful hands, established the power of thinking, producing art, more advanced tools, and sentiments.