Origin of Apes and Hominid1

Origin of Apes and Hominid1 - Origin of Apes and Hominids...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Origin of Apes and Hominids The role of A. afarensis as the stem from which the other hominids arose is in some dispute. About 2 million years ago, after a long million year period of little change, as many as six hominid species evolved in response to climate changes associated with the beginning of the Ice Age. Two groups developed: the australopithecines, generally smaller brained and not users of tools; and the line that led to genus Homo , larger brained and makers and users of tools. The australopithecines died out 1 million years ago; Homo , despite their best efforts (atomic weapons, pollution) are still here! With an incomplete fossil record, australopithecines, at least the smaller form, A. africanus , was thought ancestral to Homo . Recent discoveries, however have caused a reevaluation of that hypothesis. One pattern is sure, human traits evolved at different rates and at different times, in a mosaic: some features (skeletal, dietary) establishing themselves quickly, others developing later (toolmaking, language, use of fire). A cluster of species developed about 2-2.5 million years ago in Africa.
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
Ask a homework question - tutors are online