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How Did Humans Evolve?

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enotes | Valedictorian

Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:00 PM via web

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How Did Humans Evolve?

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orchid101 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:57 AM (Answer #2)

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There had been no conclusive evidence to the exact period of origin of man. Till the discovery of Ramapithecus and its acceptance as the probable ancestor of man, the story of human evolution was presumed to be 5 million years old. But now with Ramapithecus finds, it shows clear signs of the divergence of hominid lines leading to great apes. The human evolution is presumed to have started about 15-20 million years ago, either in late Miocene or early Pliocene period. The fossils of prehuman and ancestral human forms are obtained from widely diverse regions of Africa, Asia and Africa.

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fact-finder | Valedictorian

Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM (Answer #1)

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The first humans lived between 3½ and 4 million years ago. They were called Australopithecus afarensis and had apelike heads, walked upright, and were primarily plant-eaters. Around 2½ million years ago, the next in the line of human ancestors emerged: Homo habilis. Homo habilis stood nearly five feet tall, was a meat-eater, and crafted simple tools from pebbles.

Near the beginning of the Pleistocene epoch (the epoch which began about 2 million years ago and ended 10,000 years ago), Homo habilis evolved, or gradually changed, into Homo erectus (Java Man). Homo erectus used fire, built huts, and hunted in groups. Throughout the Pleistocene epoch, Homo erectus steadily evolved into Homo sapiens, the species that includes Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons, and modern humans.

Since about 40,000 years ago, the only remaining form of Homo sapiens has been modern humans. Modern humans developed a way of life based on agriculture and the domestication of animals.

Sources: Couvering, John Van. Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory, p. 259; Rovin, Laws of Order, pp. 120-21; Trefil, James. 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Science, p. 34.

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thedemon | College Teacher | Honors

Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM (Answer #1)

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The first humans lived between 3½ and 4 million years ago. They were called Australopithecus afarensis and had apelike heads, walked upright, and were primarily plant-eaters. Around 2½ million years ago, the next in the line of human ancestors emerged: Homo habilis. Homo habilis stood nearly five feet tall, was a meat-eater, and crafted simple tools from pebbles.

 

Near the beginning of the Pleistocene epoch (the epoch which began about 2 million years ago and ended 10,000 years ago), Homo habilisevolved, or gradually changed, into Homo erectus (Java Man). Homo erectus used fire, built huts, and hunted in groups. Throughout the Pleistocene epoch, Homo erectus steadily evolved into Homo sapiens,the species that includes Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons, and modern humans.

Since about 40,000 years ago, the only remaining form of Homo sapiens has been modern humans. Modern humans developed a way of life based on agriculture and the domestication of animals.

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