human evolution

hominids

Animals of the genus Ardipithecus, living roughly 4 to 6 million years ago, had brains roughly the size of a female chimp. Although they lived in trees, they were bipedal. Standing on two feet allows an organism to see and also to use its hands and arms for hunting. By the time of Australopithecus afarensis, between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago, these human ancestors were completely bipedal and their brains were growing rapidly (Figure 1.1). Australopithecus afarensis is a human ancestor that lived about 3 million years ago. The genus Homo appeared about 2.5 million years ago. Humans developed the first stone tools. Homo erectus evolved in Africa about 1.8 million years ago. Fossils of these animals show a much more human-like body structure, which allowed them to travel long distances to hunt. Cultures begin and evolve. Homo sapiens, our species, originated about 200,000 years ago in Africa. Evidence of a spiritual life appears about 32,000 years ago with stone figurines that probably have religious significance (Figure 1.2). The ice ages allowed humans to migrate. During the ice ages, water was frozen in glaciers and so land bridges such as the Bering Strait allowed humans to walk from the old world to the new world. DNA evidence suggests that the humans who migrated out of Africa interbred with Neanderthal since these people contain some Neanderthal DNA. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: Stone figurines likely indicate a spiritual life.

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primate ancestors

Humans evolved from primates, and apes and humans have a primate common ancestor. About 7 million years ago, chimpanzees (our closest living relatives) and humans shared their last common ancestor.

human evolution

Humans evolved during the later Cenozoic. New fossil discoveries alter the details of what we know about the evolution of modern humans, but the major evolutionary path is well understood.

instructional diagrams

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questions

__ and modern humans had a common ancestor as recently as about 7 million years ago.

a) bipedals

b) hominids

-->  c) apes

d) neanderthals

humans evolved during the later

a) mesozoic

-->  b) cenozoic

c) paleozoic

d) humanzoic

humans evolved directly from chimpanzees.

a) true

-->  b) false

the advantages of being bipedal include the ability to

a) see over grasses.

b) use hands and arms for hunting.

c) better tend for your young.

-->  d) all of the above.

homo sapiens evolved about 200,000 years ago.

-->  a) true

b) false

homo erectus

a) was still walking on all fours.

b) developed the first stone tools about 2.5 million years ago.

-->  c) began to develop culture.

d) all of these.

the human ancestor, __, lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago, was bipedal and had a brain larger than a chimp.

a) ardipithecus

-->  b) australopithecus afarensis

c) homo erectus

d) homo sapiens

modern humans are in the species

-->  a) homo sapiens

b) homo erectus

c) homo neanderthalensis

d) none of the above

scientists are certain that our ancestors had a spiritual life at around 32,000 years ago as evidenced by their carved stone figurines.

a) true

-->  b) false

during the ice ages, humans walked over __ from the old world to the new world.

a) water bridges

-->  b) the bering strait

c) the atlantic land bridge

d) the water.

diagram questions

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