Planet of Life

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THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANS

PLANET OF LIFE SERIES: APES TO MAN (film summary to be filled in class) Humans: Superfamily Hominoidea Family Hylobatidae Family Hominidae Family Pongidae Gibbons Humans Chimpanzees Gorillas Orangutans

Origins

Early apes (ancestors to Hominoids)=Africa, 20 m.y.a (Mc).

To Europe & Asia = 15 m.y.a. (Gigantopithecus early ape)
Mc/Plio= first hominids (subfamily)= Australopithecines

Australopithecines
"Lucy": Australopithecus afarensis (Range 4 to 2.3 m.y.a. ) Arboreal but bipedal on the ground
broader pelvis
chimp like face, slightly larger brain

Emergence of Humans
Fun article: The Pliocene Pussycat Theory
Early Homo: 2.4 m.y.a. = oldest fossil (from autralopithecines) Larger brain, intelligent to survive among predators manufactured tools = Homo habilis. Tools used to sever meat Oldowan culture

Homo erectus: evolved about 2 million years ago. Range to 300,000 y.a (or 50-30,000 y.a.?). First out of Africa: Peking Man and Java Man smaller brain than modern humans

Tools, fire, hunters
Acheulian culture

Homo neanderthalensis, our cousin: 150,000- 200,000 to 28,000 y.a....
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