Humans and Other Primates

Topics: Human evolution, Primate, Human Pages: 3 (913 words) Published: February 27, 2013

Humans, apes and monkeys share a common ancestor. This ancestor lived about 45 million years ago. Many fossils have been found traits of both humans and apes; also comparisons of modern humans and apes support this theory.

Primates are a group of mammals that have special characteristics that include: both eyes are located at the front of the head and they provide binocular or three-dimensional vision; also all primates have 5 fingers (four fingers and a thumb). The ancestors of the primates were mouse like mammals that were awake in the nights, lived in the trees and they eat insects. The first primates exist after the dinosaurs die. The first primates were the ones that had larger brains about 45 million years ago; these were similar to monkeys, apes and humans.

Humans also have a family separated from other primates that is called hominids; this family includes only humans and human-like ancestors. The characteristic that separates primates from hominids is bipedalism; means walking in two feet. These characteristics can be seen in the skeletal structures that have different traits that are: the pelvis is vertical, the spine is curved in an S shape and the last trait is that the arms are shorter than the legs.

Scientists have found many different fossils of ancient hominids and have named 18 types. Fossils are classified as hominids when they share some characteristics of modern humans; but each type of hominid was unique because of its size, the way that they walked, the shape of its skull and many other characteristics.

The earliest hominids have traits that include ability to walk upright as well as smaller teeth, flatter faces and larger brains than earlier primates. Hominid evolution began in in Africa.

Many types of hominids lived at the same time. Some australopithecines had slender bodies. They had humanlike jaws and teeth,...
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