Study of early humans and human development, with the work of fossil hunters and palaeontologists.
The table below works so that only greens and blues may continue the line. The reds always end the line. Green links go either straight down, or diagonally down, but never level across. The light blues are new developments suggesting a more plural and diverse lineage of early human development. This is an alternative to a diagram.
|Ardipithecus ramidus||Australopithecus anamensis|
|Kenyanthropus platyops||Australopithecus afarensis||Australopithecus bahrelghazali|
|Australopithecus africanus||Australopithecus garhi|
|Homo habilus||Homo rudolfensis||Australopithecus robustus||Australopithecus aethiopicus|
|Homo erectus||Australopithecus boisei|
|Homo antecessor (European erectus)||Homo erectus asiatico (Asia)||Homo Floresiensis|
|Homo neanderthalensis||Homo sapiens|
Human evolution is like any other genus in development. There have been, throughout most of its evolution, several species at once. This is known from dating a variety of skulls. Yet now every racial variety of human is one species, the homo sapien.
The principal evolution of early human from the ape was the development of additional mobility and flexibility within the jungle dated to 6 million years ago. This would later prove crucial where the rising of the Rift Valley and the drying of the eastern side of Africa needed more bipedal mobility. The ice ages brought further evolution in terms of hunting for animals. Hunting and the need to communicate about hunting became a spur for language and art.
The principal groups after Orrorin Tugenensis via the Ardipethicus ramidus are the Australopethicenes and the Homo. Australopithecenes did not make tools, and were mainly vegetarian. They had big faces, large jaws and like the Orrorin Tugenensis had back teeth for grinding, each evolving with the dryer less tropical conditions.
The Homo made tools, and was more adaptable to dryer and colder conditions. Walking on two legs was first done perhaps to keep cool in more open land or to save energy; it however facilitated teh advantage of larger brains, greater self-consciousness, languages and tool making coming to fruition in the Homo group.
About two million years ago there were about 15 species of human co-existing and competing (perhaps in different parts of Earth) with the elements and themselves. Extinction removed every branch of human species except homo sapiens (the last variations being Homo neanderthalensis and homo floresiensis).