Hominid Evolution• Hominids family of organism that includes humans• Earliest subgroup of primates• First appeared between 6 and 7 million ears ago• Has evolved several times..we can tell by looking at fossil evidence…Skulls in particular
Hominid Evolution• Today researchers believe Hominid evolution proceed by• Adaptive radiation is a process by which a several species evolve from single ancestral species.
Hominid Evolution• Adaptations in hominid evolution include …• Bipedal locomotion-walking upright on 2 legs• Large brains- specially cerebrum; Increase in cranial capacity• Changes in skull shape, including decrease in size of brow ridge (section of bone above eye)• Decrease in jaw size and angle at which jaw protrudes from face• Decrease in the number of teeth• Opposable thumbs- adapted for grasping• Development of the ability to make and use tools• Development of the ability to communicate using language
• The earliest genus of hominids is called Australopithecus, meaning "southern ape• found in eastern Africa in 1974• Australopithecus afarensis – Species existed between 3 million and 4 million years ago – A. afarenis was shorter than modern humans, less than 1.5 m tall
• Homo habilis- – Oldest…existed 2 million years ago – handy man.” fossils found with tools• Homo erectus means upright human – Existed 1.6 million years ago to about 200,000 years ago – Taller and larger brain than Homo habilis – Smaller teeth than Homo habilis – Lived in groups (suggest language use) and used fire• Homo sapiens- means wise human – Existed about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago – Some believe they arose directly from Homo erectus while other believe they arose from Homo Neanderthals (who descended from Homo erectus) – By about 40,000 years ago, H. sapiens were physically identical to modern humans• Homo neanderthalensis - Neanderthals –Emerged in Germany 300,000 years ago –Lived till about 30,000 years ago – made stone tools and lived in organized social groups and had organized societies – Brain was similar in size to modern humans – DNA evidence now supports this theory…modern human DNA is 99.7 % identical to that of the Neanderthals• Cro-Magnons appeared in Europe (shortly after, Neanderthals disappeared)• Modern Humans –Last 10,000 years, Earth’s only hominid.