bio102 lecture 1-18 - Evolution Examples II Human...

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1/18/08: Evolution Examples II: Human Evolution (Ch. 16, p. 281-287) Some Facts Chimps not our ancestors per se - share common ape-like ancestor only 2% DNA difference (~5 MYA) Human evolution not a “ladder” Some hominid ancestors overlapped From the beginning: Primates evolved from insect-eating mammals ~65 MYA Important characteristics: dexterous hands claws-> nails sensitive fingers eyes close together – better depth perception eye-hand coordination The early humans (homonids) The key distinction between homonids and apes is bipedalism (upright walking) Australopithecus : until recently thought first bipedals walked African savanna Lucy – 3.2 MY old Extinct ~1.4 MYA But until recently- a gap between 4 and 12 million yrs. ago… Newly discovered fossils suggest even earlier origins of homonids Ardipithecus ~5.2 million yrs. Old Orrorin: ~6 million yrs. old Sahelanthropus: 7 million yrs. old Debates continue: When did our ancestors start to walk upright and why?
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