Human Evolution II
What defines "hominid" in fossil record?
Genus Australopithecus – in Africa (~4 mya – 1.2 mya)
Completely bipedal and "small-brained"
Several different species seen
Genus Homo – first seen in Africa (from ~2.5 mya)
Taller, larger brain and smaller face
Homo erectus – first species to leave Africa
Evolution of bipedal posture
Evolution of big brain
The two most recent species of hominids
Homo neanderthalensis – Neanderthal man
Homo sapiens – modern man (from ~150,000 ya)
Cultural evolution has become very important for most humans today