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Australopithecus Homo erectus Homo sapien

Research Project: Human Evolution

Key understandings:
• There is no clear consensus on the evolutionary history of
the hominidae family lineage.
– Contributors: Incomplete fossil record of hominids, no new
discoveries and some species are known only from partial
specimens or fragments of bone
• Due to lack of fossil records, there is disagreement on the
actual total number of hominid species (currently, there
are 18 species recognized as hominid)
• This presentation will begin with a brief history of the
beginning of life during the tertiary and quaternary and
then jump to the start of the era where hominids were first
documented as a species. Again, there is much
disagreement around the when, who and what, so many
resources are used to recant the evolution to current day
homo sapiens in this report.

Monroe, Wicander (2009, 2006)

What does it mean?
• Hominid – the group consisting of all modern and extinct Great
Apes (that is, modern humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-
utans plus all their immediate ancestors).
• Hominin – the group consisting of modern humans, extinct
human species and all our immediate ancestors (including
members of the genera homo,
Australopithecus,Paranthropus and Ardipithecus

‘Hominid’ and ‘hominin’ are derived from names used in the

scientific classification of apes (including humans). By international
convention, certain word endings are used for specific taxons or
levels within this classification. For example, ‘family’ names always
end in ‘-idae’ (Hominidae), ‘subfamily’ names end in ‘inae’
(Homininae) and ‘tribe’ (1) names end in ‘ini’ (Hominini). These
formal names are then abbreviated to give the common names
hominid, hominine and hominin respectively.

Dorey, Fran, and Beth Blaxland (2009)

When did the first hominids appear?
Tertiary Period: 65 mya – 1.8 mya
Paleocene Epoch: 65 -55.5 mya
Diversification of mammals
Eocene Epoch: 55.5 – 33.7 mya
First marine and large terrestrial animals, horses, monkeys, whales
Oligocene Epoch: 33.7 – 23.8 mya
First grasses, apes and anthropoids

Miocene Epoch:
23.8 – 5.3 mya
First Hominids

Pliocene Epoch:
5.3 – 1.8 mya

Illustrator Unknown, Nova

Early hominids, Australopithecus afarensis Krock, L. (2002), PBS

When did the first modern humans appear -
Quaternary Period: 1.8 mya – Present
Pleistocene Epoch: 1.8 mya – 8,000 ya
First mammoths, mastrodons, Neanderthals
Holocene Epoch: 8,000 ya – Present
First modern human beings
The Quaternary is
often considered the
"Age of Humans."
Homo erectus
appeared in Africa at
the start of the period,
and as time marched
on the hominid line
evolved bigger brains
and higher
intelligence. The first
modern humans
evolved in Africa
about 190,000 years
ago and dispersed to
Europe and Asia and
then on to Australia
and the Americas.
: Quaternary Period,
National Geo Graphic

Source: Taylor, J. E. Geological Stories (London: Gibbings & Company, Limited, 1904) 254
Did we evolve from monkeys?
• It is commonly believed amongst many that humans did
not evolve from monkeys for various reasons. Some
religious and some base their belief on scientific data.
Scientific data shows that humans are more closely
related to modern apes than to monkeys; however we
didn't evolve from apes, either.
• Humans share a common ancestor with modern African
apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe
this common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago. At
some point after, the species diverged into two separate
• One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and
chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors
called hominids, in the scientific classification family,

Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution. (2001), PBS

Primate Evolution Tree

Illustrator unknown

Since the earliest hominid species diverged from the ancestor we share with modern
African apes, there have been 18 identified different species of these humanlike creatures.
Many of these hominid species are close relatives, but not human ancestors. Most went
extinct without another species emerging. Some of the extinct hominids known today, they
are almost certainly direct ancestors of Homo sapiens. While the total number of species
that existed and the relationships among them is still unknown, the picture becomes
clearer as new fossils are found.
Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution. (2001), PBS
We’re all family –
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata

Hominidae Class:
Family: Hominidae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus: Homo
Species: H. sapiens

Binomial name
Homo sapiens
Linnaeus, 1758
†Homo sapiens idaltu
Homo sapiens sapiens

The human species shares a

common genetic code with all
other life on our planet and
many of our basic traits are a
heritage from the long
The Evolution of the Ape to Human - Peabody
evolutionary history that took
Museum, Yale University
place before the human lineage
branched off from the apes
around 6 million years ago. Yet
we also have our own set of
uniquely human adaptations.
Foley, J. (2011)
Skull and Brain Comparison

Reprinted by permission from Dr. Douglas Theobald. (Images copyright 2000 Smithsonian Institution.)

The skulls arranged from B to M by physical form: the skulls at the beginning of the list look more
like chimpanzees, skull A, and the skulls at the end of the list look more human-like, skull N. There
is a progression of appearance from B to M. Here are the skulls listed by species and date:

(A) Pan troglodytes, chimpanzee, modern (H) Homo ergaster (early H. erectus), KNM-ER 3733, 1.75 My
(B) Australopithecus africanus, STS 5, 2.6 My (I) Homo heidelbergensis, "Rhodesia man," 300,000 - 125,000 y
(C) Australopithecus africanus, STS 71, 2.5 My (J) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, La Ferrassie 1, 70,000 y
(D) Homo habilis, KNM-ER 1813, 1.9 My (K) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, La Chappelle-aux-Saints, 60,000 y
(E) Homo habilis, OH24, 1.8 My (L) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, Le Moustier, 45,000 y
(F) Homo rudolfensis, KNM-ER 1470, 1.8 My (M) Homo sapiens sapiens, Cro-Magnon I, 30,000 y
(G) Homo erectus, Dmanisi cranium D2700, (N) Homo sapiens sapiens, modern
1.75 My
In madnessinmysoul,(2011, May 8)
Bone structure comparisons

Chimpanzee Australopithecus africanus Homo sapiens

Another evolutionary trend in humans is the hip bone. Chimpanzees have

their hip bone elongated and directed forward, this is why they cannot walk
like us, while our hip bone is directed upward. This is how scientists recognize
if some homo fossil was bipedal or a quadruped. When we look at the hip
bone for an older human, we can see also a transformation in this trend. The
illustration in the middle is the same bone structure as “Lucy“. Lucy is an
Australopithecus estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago.(more info on Lucy slide 14).
Pelvis Comparison
Credit: Credit: Zina Deretsky, National
Science Foundation

Three sets of pelvic bones (both a side view and top view) are shown, along with the approximate
size of full-term fetus they could handle. On the left is the pelvis and baby of "Lucy“ (more info about
Lucy in slide 14). In the middle is the newly discovered pelvis of 1.2 million year old Homo erectus, and
on the right is the pelvis and baby of a modern day female human being, or Homo sapiens.
Homo erectus was previously thought to produce babies with relatively small brain capacity. However
the discovery of the pictured pelvis has shown that they were actually capable of birthing babies with
a cranial circumference very close to the lower end of the range of our own species. The Homo
erectus shown could have produced a baby with a cranial circumference of 318 mm, while modern
day babies vary from 320 to 370 mm.
Detsky, Z. (2011)
Homo Homo
Erectus Sapien

A. Afarensis
Australopithecus anamensis (aka ramidus)
During my research, I found that A. anamensis was also known as A.
ramidus and were so close in design to A. afarensis, that it was hard to
distinguish between them. However, it is believed that Ardi cannot be a
common ancestor of Chimpanzees and humans.

The canine teeth of A. ramidus are smaller, and

equal in size between males and females. This
suggests reduced male-to-male conflict, pair-
bonding, and increased parental investment.
Researchers infer from the form of Ardi's pelvis
and limbs and the presence of her opposable big
toe that she was a facultative biped: bipedal
when moving on the ground, but quadrupedal
when moving about in tree branches. Ardi had a
more primitive walking ability than later hominids,
and could not walk or run for long distances. The
teeth suggest she was an omnivore, and are
more generalized than those of modern apes.

Ardi (ARA-VP-6/500) is the designation

of the fossilized skeletal remains of a
female Ardipithecus ramidus, an early
human-like species 4.4 million years old.
It is the most complete early hominid
specimen, with most of the skull, teeth,
Ardi, Wiki
pelvis, hands and feet
Australopithecus afarensis

Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid

that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago.
A. afarensis was slender in build, like the
younger Australopithecus africanus. It is thought
that A. afarensis was ancestral to both the genus
Australopithecus and the genus Homo, which
includes the modern human species, Homo
sapiens. The most famous fossil is the partial
skeleton named Lucy (3.2 million years old)
found by Donald Johanson and colleagues, who,
in celebration of their find, played the Beatles
song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds over and

AL 288-1 (Lucy)
The first A. afarensis skeleton was discovered on November 24, 1974 near Hadar in Ethiopia by Tom Gray in the
company of Donald Johanson, as part of a team involving Maurice Taieb, Yves Coppens and Tim White in
the Middle Awash of Ethiopia's Afar Depression.

Australopithecus afarensis,Wiki
Australopithecus Afracinus
Australopithecus africanus was an early
hominid, an australopithecine, who lived
between 2–3 million years ago in the Pliocene.
In common with the older Australopithecus
afarensis, A. africanus was slenderly built, or
gracile, and was thought to have been a direct
ancestor of modern humans. Fossil remains
indicate that A. africanus was significantly more
like modern humans than A. afarensis, with a
more human-like cranium permitting a larger
brain and more humanoid facial features. A.
africanus has been found at only four sites in
southern Africa — Taung (1924), Sterkfontein
(1935), Makapansgat (1948) and Gladysvale

Related to Genus: Homo

Homo rudolfensis
Homo habilis
Homo ergaster
Homo erectus

Illustrator unknown

Berger, L.R., and R.J. Clarke.

Homo habilis - 1.5 to 2 mya Homo erectus - 1.6 mya
Homo Erectus

Illustrator Unknown
Homo habilis, "handy man," is so called because Illustrator Unknown
of the wealth of tools that have been found with its
fossils. The average H. habilis brain was The evolution of an arch in the foot indicates a spring
considerably larger than the ligament in the foot, which increases the efficiency of
average Australopithecus brain. The brain shape walking by storing some of the energy from the falling
is also more humanlike. The bulge of Broca's weight of the walker in each step, and then returning
area, essential for speech, is visible in one H. it up the leg on the rebound. The big toe is also
habilis brain cast, indicating that the species may aligned with the other toes, something not found in
have been capable of rudimentary speech. The earlier ancestors and other primates. Its large size is
average H. habilis individual is thought to have necessary to absorb the walker's weight as the foot
been about five feet tall and 100 pounds, rolls forward and then lifts off the ground before the
although females may have been smaller. next step. Breuil, H., (1979)
Neanderthals Cro-Magnon
35,000 to 100,000 ya 35,000 to 40,000 ya
Neanderthal (left) and sapiens (right) skeletons

Being the oldest known modern humans

Posted on May 18, 2010 by Bento
(Homo sapiens) in Europe, the Cro-
Magnon, meaning ‘Great Cave’, were from
Homo Neanderthalis was the last surviving hominid besides the outset linked to the well-known
modern humans, homo sapiens sapiens. Noting that Lascaux cave paintings and the
Neanderthals’ brain cavities were larger than our own, many Aurignacian culture whose remains were
paleontologists and anthropologists argue their intelligence was well known from southern France and
comparable to our own. Given the overlap between both Germany. As additional remains of early
genetic compatibility and shared habitat, there has always been modern humans were discovered in
intense debate as to whether or not the two human subspecies archaeological sites from Western Europe
ever mated; now, the evidence it tilting towards “yes.” Svante and elsewhere, and dating techniques
Pääbo, a palaeogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute in improved in the early 20th century, new
Leipzig, Germany, heads a team which is sequencing the finds were added to the taxonomic
Neanderthal genome. Bento(2010)
classification. Loring (1996)
Modern Homo sapien
(fully modern fossils 100,000 ya)

Photograph by Chris Johns

Homo sapiens sapiens. In the artwork above of an Women farm workers near Ghanzi,
early modern human Homo sapiens sapiens Botswana, still go into the bush to
teaching his two sons how to make stone tools. In gossip and snack on wild plants.
the background, at far left, men are using spears to Gathering once provided 70 percent of
catch fish. Homo sapiens sapiens first appeared the Bushman diet, but ancient
around 90, 000 years ago towards the end of the scrubland has been converted to
Paleolithic era (750, 000-15, 000 years ago). Early cattle ranches. Now government relief
Homo sapiens sapiens made many specialized provides the bulk of the people's food.
tools, spears and needles. By about 10, 000 years
ago agricultural villages started to develop. This
marked the start of the Neolithic period or new National Geographic magazine, (2001)
stone age. 2011 Science Photo Library Ltd. 327-329
• Human Skull Evolution
Source: United Press International
• PBS Evolution Info
• Transitional Humanoids
• Kids version
Precambrian – Early Life Pic
Geologic Timescale Spiral Pic bul/1327/sec10.htm Last Updated: 28-Dec-2006
Slide 1: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/brief-history-life.html
• By Lexi Krock, Posted 02.01.02, NOVA
Slide 2: Bullet 1 & 2 Monroe, Wicander (2009, 2006)
Slide 3: Dorey, Fran, and Beth Blaxland. Hominid and hominin – what’s the difference?. Australian
Museum, 11 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 July 2011.
Slide 4: Krock, L. (2002, February 1). In A Brief History of Life. Retrieved July 17, 2011, from
Tertiary Period – Pic: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/link/hist_11.html
Slide 5:Quaternary Period. (n.d.). In National Geographic Home, Science, Quaternary Period.
Retrieved July 18, 2011, from:
Krock, L. (2002, February 1). In A Brief History of Life. Retrieved July 17, 2011, from
Slide 6: Library: Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution. (2001). In Evolution, a journey into
where we're from and where we're going. Retrieved July 19, 2011, from:
Evolution Home; 2nd paragraph: How did humans evolve
Slide 7: Library: Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution. (2001). In Evolution, a journey into
where we're from and where we're going. Retrieved July 19, 2011, from:
Slide 8: Scientific Classification chart:
Wiki, found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human
Groves, C. (2005). Wilson, D. E., & Reeder, D. M, eds. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.).
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Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
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2011, from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/
Pic: http://mrogers.wikispaces.com/Acanthostega
Slide 9: Where do you draw the line between human and ape?. (2011, May 8). In madnessinmysoul; a
member of AboveTopSecret.com. Retrieved July 19, 2011, from:
Pic Transitional Humanoids
Slide 11: Detsky, Z. (2011, April 15). Discovery Questions Intelligence of Human Ancestor. In National
Science Foundation, Where Discoveries Begin. Retrieved July 18, 2011, from:
Slide 12:Douglas Theobald, 2002. 29 Evidences for Macroevolution, Part 1: The Unique Universal
Phylogenetic Tree. At http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/hominids.html, retrieved July 4, 2011.]
http://www.theistic-evolution.com/transitional.html info and pic
Slide 13:
Picture reference in the material:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils
Pic: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/link/hist_11.html (credit: Image Credit)
Pic: Source: Taylor, J. E. Geological Stories (London: Gibbings & Company, Limited, 1904) 254
Slide 13: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardi
This page was last modified on 22 July 2011 at 01:29.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may
apply. Wikipedia®
Slide 14: Afarensis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australopithecus_afarensis
• This page was last modified on 1 July 2011 at 22:46.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms
may apply. See Terms of use for details.
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization
• Pic: http://apunteseusebio.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html
Slide 15: Berger, L.R., and R.J. Clarke. 1995. “Eagle involvement of the Taung child fauna.” In Journal
of Human Evolution, vol. 29, pp. 275–299.
Slide 16: Halibis: Library: Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution. (2001). In Evolution, a journey
into where we're from and where we're going. Origins of Humankids, Homo Halibis Retrieved July 19,
2011, from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat02.html
Erectus: Breuil, H., 1979: Beyond the Bounds of History, Scenes from the Old Stone Age,
Gawthorn, 1979, reprinted from the edition of 1949, London.
Photo: Giovanni Caselli in the excellent book "The Evolution of Early Man", 1976. Text by Bernard
Wood, Illustrations by Giovanni Caselli
Slide 17: Cro-Magnum - Brace, C. Loring (1996). Haeussler, Alice M.; Bailey, Shara E.. eds. "Cro-
Magnon and Qafzeh — vive la Difference" (PDF). Dental anthropology newsletter: a publication of the
Dental Anthropology Association (Tempe, AZ: Laboratory of Dental Anthropology, Department of
Anthropology, Arizona State University
Bento, . (2010, May 18). Genome sequencing suggests Neanderthal-Sapiens interbreeding. In The
Word Warrior. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from http://thewordwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/german-
Slide 18: 2011 Science Photo Library Ltd. 327-329 Harrow Road, London, UK, W9 3RB
Registered in England and Wales no.1550520. VAT no. GB 340 7410 88
First photo & info: http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/171144/enlarge
Bushman: —From "Bushmen: Last Stand for Southern Africa’s First People," February 2001, National
Geographic magazine
From "Bushmen: Last Stand for Southern Africa’s First People," February 2001, National
Geographic magazine