Human Evolution II

 

What defines "hominid" in fossil record?

Big brain

Bipedal posture

 

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

Used tools

 

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