This is surprising, but many people are offended even by the idea that man and APE are relatives. Not all monkeys, of course, but at least we had a common ancestor with these amazing animals. The claim that humanity was shaped by evolution proved explosive. This was discovered by Charles Darwin when he published the Origin of species by natural selection in 1871. It should be noted that at that time there was also a scientific barrier: Darwin had no access to virtually any fossils that could indicate how, when, or even where humans evolved. But much has changed since then, but the myths about human evolution have not gone away. We are looking at whether man descended from apes and where is the missing link that opponents of the theory of evolution love so much?
When did the first person appear?
Over the years, the places where human fossils were discovered have expanded enormously. Of course, we still have a lot to learn, but the overall picture of the evolution of Homo Sapiens is largely already formed. We know that the first evolutionary steps were taken by our ancestors in Africa. We believe that our closest living relatives are chimpanzees, and that our lineage separated from them about 7 million years ago.
However, the path of becoming a reasonable person for our ancestors was a long one. So, almost 4 million years ago, our ancestors were still very similar to monkeys. Lucy, the famous 3.2 million-year-old human ancestor discovered in Ethiopia, had a small brain and long arms. This suggests that its species still spent a lot of time in trees, perhaps climbing to the top at night, as chimpanzees still do. But the Australopithecus Lucy, however, had one distinctive feature: she walked on two legs.
Australopithecus – the oldest hominids and in General a peculiar group. The fact is that they can be considered both two-legged apes and ancient people with a monkey’s head. They probably made simple stone tools, but if you put aside these achievements, in General they were not much different from other apes.
In the 40 years since the discovery of Lucy’s partial skeleton, fragmentary remains of even older fossils have been found, some Dating back 7 million years. The remains are similar to Australopithecus: these human ancestors walked on two legs, had the features of a chimpanzee, and they also had a small brain. It was only with the advent of the genus Homo that hominins began to look and behave a little more like how we behave today. Few people now doubt that our genus was descended from Australopithecus, although from what species is debatable. It was probably Lucy Australopithecus Afarensis, but a South African species, Australopithecus Sediba, is also a candidate for this role. What is certain, however, is that the transition occurred between 2 and 3 million years ago.
In General, the main thing to understand when it comes to the evolution of Homo Sapiens – this process lasted for a long time – millions of years, and all the changes occurred gradually and by our standards very slowly.
Thus, we only know about the existence of the earliest Homo species from a few bone fragments, which makes it difficult to study them. But the first remains of a well-formed species of Homo, which we would recognize as a bit like us, appeared about 1.9 million years ago. His name is Homo Erectus-a man walking erect. More interesting articles on primitive people can be found on our channel in Yandex.Zen
Homo Erectus: what do we know?
Homo erectus bore little resemblance to the earlier hominids. He was completely out of the trees and shared our passion for travel: all earlier hominid remains were found only in Africa, but Homo erectus fossils were found in Europe and Asia.
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Homo Erectus was an innovator. He produced far more sophisticated tools than any of his predecessors, and was probably the first to learn how to handle fire. Some researchers believe that it was Homo Erectus who invented cooking, thereby improving the quality of their diet. Moreover, improved nutrition led to an excess of energy, which allowed a larger brain to develop. And this scientists know for sure: the size of the brain of Homo Erectus has grown dramatically over 1.5 million years of the existence of this species.
But no matter how successful Homo Erectus was, it still lacked some key human traits: so, according to the anatomy of this species, Homo erectus could not talk. The next hominid to appear was Homo Heidelbergensis, a heidelbergian descendant of the Homo erectus population in Africa that lived about 600,000 years ago. The hyoid bone of this species is a small bone that plays an important role in our vocal apparatus, which is almost indistinguishable from our own.
Some experts believe that it was Homo Heidelbergensis that gave rise to the species Homo Sapiens about 200,000 years ago in Africa. Individual populations of Homo Heidelbergensis that lived in Eurasia also evolved into Neanderthals in the West and a still poorly understood group called Homo Denisovan-denisovan man in the East.
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