Modern Humans (Humans: An Evolutionary History)

Human evolution
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Strong evidence supports the branching of the human lineage from the one that produced great apes orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas in Africa sometime between 6 and 7 million years ago. Evidence of toolmaking dates to about 3. However, the age of the oldest remains of the genus Homo is younger than this technological milestone, dating to some 2.

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The oldest known remains of Homo sapiens —a collection of skull fragments, a complete jawbone, and stone tools—date to about , years ago. Humans are one type of several living species of great apes. Humans evolved alongside orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas.

Early human family tree

All of these share a common ancestor before about 7 million years ago. Neanderthals Homo neanderthalensis were archaic humans who emerged at least , years ago and died out perhaps between 35, and 24, years ago. They manufactured and used tools including blades, awls, and sharpening instruments , developed a spoken language , and developed a rich culture that involved hearth construction, traditional medicine , and the burial of their dead.

Neanderthals also created art ; evidence shows that some painted with naturally occurring pigments.

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In the end, Neanderthals were likely replaced by modern humans H. The primary resource for detailing the path of human evolution will always be fossil specimens. Certainly, the trove of fossils from Africa and Eurasia indicates that, unlike today, more than one species of our family has lived at the same time for most of human history.

The nature of specific fossil specimens and species can be accurately described, as can the location where they were found and the period of time when they lived; but questions of how species lived and why they might have either died out or evolved into other species can only be addressed by formulating scenarios, albeit scientifically informed ones. Konkel, Vallmer Jordan, Cody J. Steely, Thomas O.

Dating the fossils

Batzer, Matthew W. Jolly, Richard A. Gibbs, Kim C.

Evidence of evolution

Note that this spatial partition in our study does not reflect continental discontinuities in human genetic variation, but is rather a practical mean of defining areas of putative origins. Bibcode : PNAS.. Boston: Little Brown. The earliest known catarrhine is Kamoyapithecus from uppermost Oligocene at Eragaleit in the northern Great Rift Valley in Kenya, dated to 24 million years ago. After analysing genealogy trees constructed using types of mtDNA, researchers concluded that all were descended from a female African progenitor, dubbed Mitochondrial Eve. A workman digging a trench in a hillside found a cave that had been blocked by rock but after clearing away the debris he found 17 skeletons.

The comparative genomics and complex population history of Papio baboons. Science Advances , ; 5 1 : eaau DOI: ScienceDaily, 31 January Evolutionary history of baboons. Retrieved September 21, from www. The findings about the stripes of the especially diverse species of East-African cichlid Scientists studied these adaptations using genetic sequencing and A new version of an old gene is spreading through the gene pool. I T IS EASY to assume that the long march of evolution has halted in modern man—that the safe, disease-free lives people now lead mean natural selection no longer operates on much of Homo sapiens.

It is an attractive idea.

Evolution: Frequently Asked Questions

Frances Brodsky of University College, London and her colleagues, however, beg to differ. A paper they have just published in eLife suggests that diet, at least, is still a selective pressure. Dr Brodsky and her team study proteins called clathrins. These are involved in a range of matters physiological, but one of the molecules the team is investigating, encoded by a gene called CLTCL1 , is concerned with the regulation of blood-sugar levels.

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Stone tools. ←. Exit from Africa. ←. Earliest fire use. ←. Earliest cooking. ←. Earliest clothes. ←. Modern humans. The timeline of human evolution outlines the major events in the development of the human species, Homo sapiens, and the evolution of the human's ancestors. It includes brief explanations of some of the species, genera, and the higher ranks of taxa that are seen today as possible ancestors of modern humans. The evolutionary history of species has been described as a "tree" with.

CLTCL1 comes in two forms, one more efficient than the other at encouraging the removal of glucose from the blood. The team decided to look into the evolutionary history behind this. To do so they analysed the relevant DNA in 2, human genomes taken from a database called the Genomes Project.

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This project has collected samples from 26 human populations around the world. Putting all this information together they deduced two things. First, just under half of people alive today carry the more efficient version of the gene. Second, this version is also a more recent version of the gene.

Testing Models of Modern Human Origins with Archaeology and Anatomy

It seems to have started spreading during the Neolithic—the moment when humans started farming cereals. Dr Brodsky suspects this is no coincidence. A cereal-based diet is far richer in carbohydrates than the diet of a hunter-gatherer.