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Human Evolution

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Title: Human Evolution


1
Human Evolution
2
CENOZOIC ERA 66 m.y.a rise of mammals and
primates
  • Primates group of mammals including monkeys,
    apes and humans

3
Primates
4
Primate Characteristics
  • 1. strong hands, long fingers, opposable thumb
  • 2. arms move freely at the shoulder joint
  • 3. Binocular vision eyes positioned on the
    front of the face (accurately judge distance)
  • 4. intelligent animals with relatively large
    brains
  • 5. complex social skills with extended parental
    care of their young

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Characteristics Unique to Humans
  • 1. walking upright Bipedalism
  • 2. larger brain
  • 3. use of speech and language

7
Primate Evolution divided into 2 groups about 40
million years ago
  • 1. Prosimians small, monkey-like primates with
    large, forward facing eyes grasping digits, most
    are nocturnal, feed on fruits pre-monkey
  • Examples Lemurs, Lorises, Tarsiers

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  • 2. Anthropoids human-like primates
    monkeys, apes, humans Diurnal active during
    the day complex socially

10
Two separate groups of monkeys evolved
  • 1. New World Monkeys 30 Million years ago
    migrated to American Continents (South America)
    evolved in isolation,strong, flexible, prehensile
    tails (grasp branches), arboreal, flat spreading
    noses

11
  • 2. Old World Monkeys 25 Million years ago
    Europe-Asia-Africa long prominent noses, no
    prehensile tail
  • Apes larger brains, no tails (gorilla,
    chimpanzee, orangutan)

12
The Hominids
  • Early Hominids all the Anthropoids that belong
    to the human family ancestors to modern humans

13
The First Hominid?
  • Considerable controversy exists
  • Originally thought to be Ramapithecus - found in
    1932 in India 8 million year old jaw with teeth

14
  • None found in Africa (Ramapithecus)
  • More complete fossils discovered suggest that it
    is more closely related to the Orangutan

15
Consensus Now...
  • Proconsul - has many characteristics of Old World
    Monkeys but lacks a tail
  • Approximately 5-10 million years old

16
Human vs. Ape Anatomy
  • 1. Human vertebral column is more curved than an
    apes
  • 2. Human spinal cord exits from the bottom of
    the skull (Apes exits from the rear)
  • 3. Human pelvis is broader and more bowl shaped
  • 4. Human legs bow in from the hip to the knee,
    apes are straighter
  • 5. Ape arms disproportionate to their legs

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18
What is the controversy?
  • 1. Skeleton fragments ONLY have been found of
    the earliest human ancestors
  • 2. The Missing Link has yet to be discovered
    (an ape like creature with a larger brain)
  • 3. Religion vs. Science
  • 4. Relative short time frame for Evolution of
    Man
  • 5. Personal Bias tends to influence discoveries

19
Australopithecus
  • Australopithecus Southern Ape oldest hominid
    fossil dates to 3.5 - 4.4 million years ago
  • Australopithecus africanus 2.7 - 2.1 m.y.a
  • Australopithecus afarensis Lucy 40
    complete fossil (female based on pelvis shape) 3
    - 4 m.y.a.
  • A. robustus , A. boisei 2 m.y.a. side
    branches of human family tree that became extinct
  • Characteristics common to all Australopithecus
    walked upright, apelike characteristics (long
    arms compared to legs), small brains, found only
    in Africa

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  • Homo habilis Handy man first hominids to use
    tools and weapons (2.5 m.y.a)

22
  • Homo erectus Upright man first to migrate
    out of Africa into Asia , built fires, hunters
    and gatherers

23
  • Homo sapiens Wise man 500,000 - 300,000 years
    ago
  • Neanderthals brains as large as modern humans,
    speech, ritual burials, decorated tools, lived
    until about 34,000 yrs. ago
  • Cro-Magnon cave paintings, lived during the Ice
    Age, complex dwellings, likely evolved into
    modern humans of today, lived to about 10,000
    yrs. ago

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Human Races
  • Humans have differentiated as they spread
    throughout the world
  • Skin pigmentation changes with proximity to the
    equator
  • Isolation has kept races homogeneous
  • Cultural, behavioral, religious and other
    isolation mechanisms have and do exist

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