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04Pres - The classical and molecular taxonomic trees of the...

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The classical and molecular taxonomic trees of the Hominoidea can be reconciled by assuming that an unusually large fraction of the mutations that occurred in the non-”junk” DNA of the Hominini (yellow line) had major phenotypic effects that were positively selected for.
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About 10-5 mya, a climate change in Africa replaced much tropical forest with open habitats. The resulting change in natural selection facilitated the rapid evolution of hominins (From Lewin, 1993a) .
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Hominin Evolution Calendar and General Remarks The Earliest Hominins Australopithecus afarensis and other Australopithecines Homo habilis: Man the Toolmaker Homo erectus, First Hominin to Leave Africa • Archaic Homo sapiens Homo neanderthaliensis • Modern Homo sapiens Out of Africa - Again From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture
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Figure 4.1: Simplified hominin phylogeny. After Lewin and Foley (2004) p. 17
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Calendar of Hominin Evolution 10 - 5 mya (million years ago) Cooler climate in Africa replacing tropical forests with open habitats approx.7 mya Hominini separated from Panini 4.4 - 1.1 mya Australopithecus species 2.4 - 1.5 mya Homo habilis 1.9 - 0.3 mya Homo erectus 800 - 150 kya (kiloyears ago) Archaic Homo sapiens 300 - 30 kya Homo neanderthaliensis 200kya - pres. Modern Homo sapiens 10kya - pres. Agriculture
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Hominin Evolution Calendar and General Remarks The Earliest Hominins Australopithecus afarensis and other Australopithecines Homo habilis: Man the Toolmaker Homo erectus, First Hominin to Leave Africa • Archaic Homo sapiens Homo neanderthaliensis • Modern Homo sapiens Out of Africa - Again From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture
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Figure 4.1: Simplified hominin phylogeny. After Lewin and Foley (2004) p. 17
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Sahelanthropus chadensis Dated 6-7 million years ago, and found in the Djurab desert of Chad/Central Africa, this skull is the oldest bona fide hominin fossil so far.
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Michel Brunet, leader of the team that found Sahelanthropus, combing the sand dunes of the Djurab desert in Chad/Africa.
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Hominin Evolution Calendar and General Remarks The Earliest Hominins Australopithecus afarensis and other Australopithecines Homo habilis: Man the Toolmaker Homo erectus, First Hominin to Leave Africa • Archaic Homo sapiens Homo neanderthaliensis • Modern Homo sapiens Out of Africa - Again From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture
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Figure 4.1: Simplified hominin phylogeny. After Lewin and Foley (2004) p. 17
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Figure S4.a: Fossils from Australopithecus anamensis (center) were found in Kenya and Ethiopia and dated 4 mya. They combine features of corresponding bones from extant chimps (left) and humans (right). From Scient. Amer. June 1997: p. 77
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Major sites of discovery of Australopithecus afarensis fossils From Lewin (1993a)
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Figure 4.2: Australopithecus afarensis.
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