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Human Evolution

Uploaded by marcoslb on Sep 13, 1999

Evolution is the complexity of processes by which living organisms established on earth and have been expanded and modified through theorized changes in form and function. Human evolution is the biological and cultural development of the species Homo sapiens, or human beings. Humans evolved from apes because of their similarities. Humans had a decrease in the size of the face and teeth that evolved. Early humans are classified in ten different types families. Creationists believe that humans were always humans. Humans are classified in the mammalian family Primates. In this arrangement, humans, along with our extinct close ancestors, and our nearest living relatives, the African apes, are sometimes placed together in the family Hominidae because of genetic similarities. Two-legged walking seems to be one of the earliest of the major hominine characteristics to have evolved. In the course of human evolution the size of the brain has more than tripled. The increase in brain size may be related to changes in hominine behavior (See figure 3). The third major trend in hominine development is the gradual decrease in the size of the face and teeth. According to the Microsoft Encarta '98, the fossil evidence for direct ancestors of modern humans is divided into the category Australopithecus and Homo, and begins about 5 million years ago (See figure 1). Between 7 and 20 million years ago, primitive apelike animals were widely distributed on the African and, later, on the Eurasian continents. Although many fossil bones and teeth have been found, the way of life of these creatures, and their evolutionary relationships to the living apes and humans, remain matters of active discussion among scientists. The fossil evidence for human evolution begins with the australopithecines. All the australopithecines were clearly bipedal and therefore apparent hominines. In details of their teeth, jaws, and brain size, however, they modify enough among themselves to explain division into five species: Australopithecus anamensis, A. afarensis, A. africanus, A. robustus, and A. boisei. Homo are also divided in five different spices: Homo erectus, H. habilis, H. sapiens, and H. sapiens sapiens. Afarensis, lived in eastern Africa between 3 and 4 million years ago. This australopithecine had a brain size a little larger than chimpanzees. Some possessed canine teeth somewhat more sticking out than those of later hominines. No tools of any kind have been found with A. afarensis fossils. Between about 2.5 million and 3 million years ago, A. afarensis apparently...

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Uploaded by:   marcoslb

Date:   09/13/1999

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   4 pages (930 words)

Views:   1118

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