Human species tree

Humans Homo sapiens are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. Together with chimpanzeesgorillasand orangutansthey are part of the family Hominidae the great apes, or hominids. Terrestrial animalshumans are characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion ; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals ; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications ; larger, more complex brains than other animals; and highly advanced and organized societies.

Early hominins—particularly the australopithecineswhose brains and anatomy are in many ways more similar to ancestral non-human apes —are less often referred to as "human" than hominins of the genus Homo.

human species tree

It was discovered in southern Ethiopia in In several waves of migrationH. The spread of the large and increasing population of humans has profoundly affected much of the biosphere and millions of species worldwide. Advantages that explain this evolutionary success include a larger brain with a well-developed neocortexprefrontal cortex and temporal lobeswhich enable advanced abstract reasoninglanguageproblem solvingsocialityand culture through social learning.

Humans use tools more frequently and effectively than any other animal: they are the only extant species to build fires, cook foodclothe themselves, and create and use numerous other technologies and arts. Humans uniquely use such systems of symbolic communication as language and art to express themselves and exchange ideas, and also organize themselves into purposeful groups. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states.

Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values, [26] social normsand ritualswhich together undergird human society. Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena or events have motivated humanity's development of sciencephilosophymythologyreligionand numerous other fields of knowledge.

human species tree

Though most of human existence has been sustained by hunting and gathering in band societies[27] many human societies transitioned to sedentary agriculture approximately 10, years ago, [28] domesticating plants and animals, thus enabling the growth of civilization.

These human societies subsequently expanded, establishing various forms of government, religion, and culture around the world, and unifying people within regions to form states and empires. The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries permitted the development of fuel-driven technologies and increased lifespans, causing the human population to rise exponentially. The global human population was estimated to be near 7. In common usage, the word "human" generally refers to the only extant species of the genus Homo —anatomically and behaviorally modern Homo sapiens.

In scientific terms, the meanings of " hominid " and " hominin " have changed during the recent decades with advances in the discovery and study of the fossil ancestors of modern humans.

The previously clear boundary between humans and apes has blurred, resulting in biologists now acknowledging the hominids as encompassing multiple speciesand Homo and close relatives since the split from chimpanzees as the only hominins.

There is also a distinction between anatomically modern humans and Archaic Homo sapiensthe earliest fossil members of the species. The species binomial " Homo sapiens " was coined by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae. Note that the Latin word homo refers to humans of either gender, and that " sapiens " is the singular form while there is no such word as " sapien ".

The genus Homo evolved and diverged from other hominins in Africa, after the human clade split from the chimpanzee lineage of the hominids great apes branch of the primates.

Modern humans, defined as the species Homo sapiens or specifically to the single extant subspecies Homo sapiens sapiensproceeded to colonize all the continents and larger islands, arriving in Eurasia ,—60, years ago, [35] [36] Australia around 40, years ago, the Americas around 15, years ago, and remote islands such as Hawaii, Easter IslandMadagascarand New Zealand between the years and The closest living relatives of humans are chimpanzees and bonobos genus Pan [39] [40] and gorillas genus Gorilla.

The gibbons family Hylobatidae and orangutans genus Pongo were the first groups to split from the line leading to the humans, then gorillas genus Gorilla followed by the chimpanzee genus Pan. The splitting date between human and chimpanzee lineages is placed around 4—8 million years ago during the late Miocene epoch.

There is little fossil evidence for the divergence of the gorilla, chimpanzee and hominin lineages. Each of these species has been argued to be a bipedal ancestor of later hominins, but all such claims are contested. It is also possible that any one of the three is an ancestor of another branch of African apes, or is an ancestor shared between hominins and other African Hominoidea apes.The genus emerged with the appearance of Homo habilisjust over 2 million years ago.

Homo erectus appeared about 2 million years ago and, in several early migrationsit spread throughout Africa where it is dubbed Homo ergaster and Eurasia. It was likely the first human species to live in a hunter-gatherer society and to control fire. An adaptive and successful species, Homo erectus persisted for more than a million years and gradually diverged into new species by aroundyears ago. Homo sapiens anatomically modern humans emerged close totoyears ago, [6] most likely in Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis emerged at around the same time in Europe and Western Asia.

Class width histogram

Both in Africa and Eurasia, H. Separate archaic non- sapiens human species are thought to have survived until around 40, years ago Neanderthal extinctionwith possible late survival of hybrid species as late as 12, years ago Red Deer Cave people. Even today, the genus Homo has not been stricly defined. The discovery of Neanderthal brought the first addition. The genus Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its member species can be classified as human.

And, over the decades of the 20th century, fossil finds of pre-human and early human species from late Miocene and early Pliocene times produced a rich mix for debating classifications. There is continuing debate on delineating Homo from Australopithecus —or, indeed, delineating Homo from Panas one body of scientists argues that the two species of chimpanzee should be classed with genus Homo rather than Pan.

Many such names are now dubbed as " synonyms " with Homoincluding Pithecanthropus[18] Protanthropus[19] Sinanthropus[20] Cyphanthropus[21] Africanthropus[22] Telanthropus[23] Atlanthropus[24] and Tchadanthropus.

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Classifying the genus Homo into species and subspecies is subject to incomplete information and remains poorly done. This has led to using common names "Neanderthal" and "Denisovan"even in scientific papers, to avoid trinomial names or the ambiguity of classifying groups as incertae sedis uncertain placement —for example, H. John Edward Gray was an early advocate of classifying taxa by designating tribes and families. Several species, including Australopithecus garhiAustralopithecus sedibaAustralopithecus africanusand Australopithecus afarensishave been proposed as the direct ancestor or sister of the Homo lineage.

Especially since the s, the delineation of Homo in Australopithecus has become more contentious. Traditionally, the advent of Homo has been taken to coincide with the first use of stone tools the Oldowan industryand thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Palaeolithic.

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But inevidence was presented that seems to attribute the use of stone tools to Australopithecus afarensis around 3.

However, a steady rise in cranial capacity is observed already in Autralopithecina and does not terminate after the emergence of Homoso that it does not serve as an objective criterion to define the emergence of the genus.

Homo habilis emerged about 2. Already beforethere were suggestions that H. Init was discovered that H.Once Earth was home to a host of human species, from Neanderthals to hobbits. But today only we survive. Two million years ago in Africa, several species of human-like creatures roamed the landscape.

Some looked surprisingly similar to each other, while others had distinct, defining features. In Septemberanother species was added to the list. Hundreds of bones discovered in a South African cave are now believed to belong to a new species, known as Homo naledi.

There may well be many more extinct hominin species waiting to be uncovered. Our own species appeared aroundyears ago, at a time when several others existed. Yet today, only we remain. Why did we manage to survive when all of our closest relatives have died out? To start with, it's worth pointing out that extinction is a normal part of evolution. In that sense it may not seem surprising that human-like species — known as "hominins" — have died out.

But it is not obvious that the world only has room for one species of human. Our closest living relatives are the great apes, and there are six species alive today: chimpanzees, bonobos, two species of gorilla and two species of orangutan.

Several million years ago, when a great many hominin species lived side-by-side, they mainly ate plants. But as conditions changed, and hominins moved from the forests and trees to the drier open savannahs, they became increasingly carnivorous. The problem was, the animals they hunted also had fewer plants to eat, so overall there was less food to go around.

That competition drove some species extinct. But while the switch to meat-eating clearly took its toll, it did not come close to leaving Earth a one-human planet.

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Until quite recently, we still shared the planet with other early humans. Rewind to 30, years ago. As well as modern humans, three other hominin species were around: the Neanderthals in Europe and western Asia, the Denisovans in Asia, and the "hobbits" from the Indonesian island of Flores. The hobbits could have survived until as recently as 18, years ago.

They may have been wiped out by a large volcanic eruption, according to geological evidence from the area. Living on one small island will also leave a species more vulnerable to extinction when disaster strikes. We do not know enough about the Denisovans to even ask why they died out. All we have from them is a small finger bone and two teeth.

However, we know a lot more about the Neanderthals, simply because we have known about them for much longer and have many fossils. So to get at why we are the only human species left standing, we must rely on figuring out why they died out. The archaeological evidence strongly suggests that the Neanderthals somehow lost out to modern humans, says Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

The Neanderthals were displaced very soon after modern humans encroached on their habitat, which Hublin says can't be a coincidence. Neanderthals evolved long before us, and lived in Europe well before we arrived.

By the time we got to Europe, just over 40, years agoNeanderthals had been successfully living there for overyears, ample time to adapt to the chilly climate.

They wore warm clothes, were formidable hunters and had sophisticated stone tools.Human evolutionthe process by which human beings developed on Earth from now-extinct primates. Viewed zoologically, we humans are Homo sapiensa culture-bearing upright-walking species that lives on the ground and very likely first evolved in Africa aboutyears ago. We are now the only living members of what many zoologists refer to as the human tribe, Homininibut there is abundant fossil evidence to indicate that we were preceded for millions of years by other hominins, such as ArdipithecusAustralopithecusand other species of Homoand that our species also lived for a time contemporaneously with at least one other member of our genusH.

In addition, we and our predecessors have always shared Earth with other apelike primates, from the modern-day gorilla to the long-extinct Dryopithecus. That we and the extinct hominins are somehow related and that we and the apesboth living and extinctare also somehow related is accepted by anthropologists and biologists everywhere. Yet the exact nature of our evolutionary relationships has been the subject of debate and investigation since the great British naturalist Charles Darwin published his monumental books On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man There is theoretically, however, a common ancestor that existed millions of years ago.

This ancient primate has not been identified and may never be known with certainty, because fossil relationships are unclear even within the human lineage, which is more recent. The answer to this question is challenging, since paleontologists have only partial information on what happened when. Strong evidence supports the branching of the human lineage from the one that produced great apes orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas in Africa sometime between 6 and 7 million years ago.

Evidence of toolmaking dates to about 3. However, the age of the oldest remains of the genus Homo is younger than this technological milestone, dating to some 2. The oldest known remains of Homo sapiens —a collection of skull fragments, a complete jawbone, and stone tools—date to aboutyears ago.

Human evolution

Humans are one type of several living species of great apes. Humans evolved alongside orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. All of these share a common ancestor before about 7 million years ago.

Neanderthals Homo neanderthalensis were archaic humans who emerged at leastyears ago and died out perhaps between 35, and 24, years ago. They manufactured and used tools including blades, awls, and sharpening instrumentsdeveloped a spoken languageand developed a rich culture that involved hearth construction, traditional medicineand the burial of their dead.

The 7 Homo Species Close to Present Humans That Existed on the Earth

Neanderthals also created art ; evidence shows that some painted with naturally occurring pigments. In the end, Neanderthals were likely replaced by modern humans H. The primary resource for detailing the path of human evolution will always be fossil specimens.

Certainly, the trove of fossils from Africa and Eurasia indicates that, unlike today, more than one species of our family has lived at the same time for most of human history. The nature of specific fossil specimens and species can be accurately described, as can the location where they were found and the period of time when they lived; but questions of how species lived and why they might have either died out or evolved into other species can only be addressed by formulating scenarios, albeit scientifically informed ones.

These scenarios are based on contextual information gleaned from localities where the fossils were collected. In devising such scenarios and filling in the human family bush, researchers must consult a large and diverse array of fossils, and they must also employ refined excavation methods and records, geochemical dating techniques, and data from other specialized fields such as geneticsecology and paleoecology, and ethology animal behaviour —in short, all the tools of the multidisciplinary science of paleoanthropology.

This article is a discussion of the broad career of the human tribe from its probable beginnings millions of years ago in the Miocene Epoch 23 million to 5. Particular attention is paid to the fossil evidence for this history and to the principal models of evolution that have gained the most credence in the scientific community.

See the article evolution for a full explanation of evolutionary theory, including its main proponents both before and after Darwin, its arousal of both resistance and acceptance in society, and the scientific tools used to investigate the theory and prove its validity.

Human evolution. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

human species tree

Introduction Background and beginnings in the Miocene Striding through the Pliocene The anatomy of bipedalism The fossil evidence Theories of bipedalism Hominin habitats Tools, hands, and heads in the Pliocene and Pleistocene Refinements in hand structure Increasing brain size Refinements in tool design Reduction in tooth size The emergence of Homo sapiens Language, culture, and lifeways in the Pleistocene Speech and symbolic intelligence Learning from the apes.

See Article History.

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Top Questions. Homo sapiens.The timeline of human evolution outlines the major events in the evolutionary lineage of the modern human speciesHomo sapiensthroughout the history of lifebeginning some 4 billion years ago down to recent evolution within H.

It includes brief explanations of the various taxonomic ranks in the human lineage. The timeline reflects the mainstream views in modern taxonomybased on the principle of phylogenetic nomenclature ; in cases of open questions with no clear consensus, the main competing possibilities are briefly outlined. A tabular overview of the taxonomic ranking of Homo sapiens with age estimates for each rank is shown below. The choanoflagellates may look similar to the ancestors of the entire animal kingdomand in particular they may be the direct ancestors of sponges.

Proterospongia members of the Choanoflagellata are the best living examples of what the ancestor of all animals may have looked like. They live in coloniesand show a primitive level of cellular specialization for different tasks.

Urmetazoan : The first fossils that might represent animals appear in the million-year-old rocks of the Trezona Formation of South Australia. These fossils are interpreted as being early sponges.

The First Human (Evolution Documentary) - Timeline

Almost all cnidarians possess nerves and muscles. Because they are the simplest animals to possess them, their direct ancestors were very probably the first animals to use nerves and muscles together. Cnidarians are also the first animals with an actual body of definite form and shape. They have radial symmetry. The first eyes evolved at this time. Earliest development of the brainand of bilateral symmetry.

Archaic representatives of this stage are flatwormsthe simplest animals with organs that form from three germ layers. Most known animal phyla appeared in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion. Deuterostomeslast common ancestor of the chordate [human] lineage, the Echinodermata starfishsea urchinssea cucumbersetc. An archaic survivor from this stage is the acorn wormsporting a circulatory system with a heart that also functions as a kidney.

Acorn worms have a gill -like structure used for breathing, a structure similar to that of primitive fish. Acorn worms have a plexus concentrated into both dorsal and ventral nerve cords. The dorsal cord reaches into the proboscis, and is partially separated from the epidermis in that region.

This part of the dorsal nerve cord is often hollow, and may well be homologous with the brain of vertebrates. The lanceletstill living today, retains some characteristics of the primitive chordates. It resembles Pikaia. The first vertebrates appear: the ostracodermsjawless fish related to present-day lampreys and hagfishes.

Haikouichthys and Myllokunmingia are examples of these jawless fish, or Agnatha. See also prehistoric fish. They were jawless and their internal skeletons were cartilaginous.Human taxonomy is the classification of the human species systematic name Homo sapiensLatin : "wise man" within zoological taxonomy.

The systematic genusHomois designed to include both anatomically modern humans and extinct varieties of archaic humans.

Current humans have been designated as subspecies Homo sapiens sapiensdifferentiated according to some from the direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu with some other research instead classifying idaltu and current humans as belonging to the same subspecies [1] [2] [3].

human species tree

Since the introduction of systematic names in the 18th century, knowledge of human evolution has increased drastically, and a number of intermediate taxa have been proposed in the 20th to early 21st century. The most widely accepted taxonomy groups takes the genus Homo as originating between two and three million years ago, divided into at least two species, archaic Homo erectus and modern Homo sapienswith about a dozen further suggestions for species without universal recognition. The genus Homo is placed in the tribe Hominini alongside Pan chimpanzees.

The two genera are estimated to have diverged over an extended time of hybridization spanning roughly 10 to 6 million years ago, with possible admixture as late as 4 million years ago. A subtribe of uncertain validity, grouping archaic "pre-human" or "para-human" species younger than the Homo - Pan split is Australopithecina proposed in A proposal by Wood and Richmond would introduce Hominina as a subtribe alongside Australopithecinawith Homo the only known genus within Hominina.

Alternatively, following Cela-Conde and Ayalathe "pre-human" or "proto-human" genera of AustralopithecusArdipithecusPraeanthropusand possibly Sahelanthropus may be placed on equal footing alongside the genus Homo. An even more radical view rejects the division of Pan and Homo as separate genera, which based on the Principle of Priority would imply the re-classification of chimpanzees as Homo paniscus or similar.

Prior to the current scientific classification of humans, philosophers and scientists have made various attempts to classify humans. They offered definitions of the human being and schemes for classifying types of humans. Biologists once classified races as subspecies, but today anthropologists reject the concept of race and view humanity as an interrelated genetic continuum. Taxonomy of the hominins continues to evolve.

Human taxonomy on one hand involves the placement of humans within the Taxonomy of the hominids great apesand on the other the division of archaic and modern humans into species and, if applicable, subspecies. Modern zoological taxonomy was developed by Carl Linnaeus during the s to s.

He named the human species as Homo sapiens inas the only member species of the genus Homodivided into several subspecies corresponding to the great races. The systematic name Hominidae for the family of the great apes was introduced by John Edward Gray The discovery of the first extinct archaic human species from the fossil record dates to the mid 19th century, Homo neanderthalensisclassified in Since then, a number of other archaic species have been named, but there is no universal consensus as to their exact number.

After the discovery of H. The " Piltdown Man " hoax of was the fraudulent presentation of such a transitional species. Since the midth century, knowledge of the development of Hominini has become much more detailed, and taxonomical terminology has been altered a number of times to reflect this.

The introduction of Australopithecus as a third genus, alongside Homo and Panin the Hominini tribe is due to Raymond Dart More recently proposed additions to the Australopithecina subtribe include Ardipithecus and Kenyanthropus The position of Sahelanthropus relative to Australopithecina within Hominini is unclear. Cela-Conde and Ayala propose the recognition of AustralopithecusArdipithecusPraeanthropusand Sahelanthropus the latter incertae sedis as separate genera. The genus Homo has been taken to originate some two million years ago, since the discovery of stone tools in Olduvai GorgeTanzaniain the s.

Homo habilis Leakey et al. However, the discovery of more fossils of this type has opened up the debate on the delineation of H. Especially, the LD jawbone fossil discovered indated to 2. Wood and Richmond proposed that Gray's tribe Hominini "hominins" be designated as comprising all species after the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor by definition, to the inclusion of Australopithecines and other possible pre-human or para-human species such as Ardipithecus and Sahelanthropus not known in Gray's time.

Orrorin has been proposed as a possible ancestor of Hominina but not Australopithecina. At least a dozen species of Homo other than Homo sapiens have been proposed, with varying degrees of consensus.The Earth has a 4. However, Homo sapiens modern humans only evolved betweenandyears ago. Humans evolved from the family hominid great apes that have existed on Earth for around 20 million years.

Over time, different human species with different characteristics have existed on Earth, but not all species of humans have survived the journey with many of them becoming extinct.

The only human species left is Homo sapiens. He was the first to point out that every species has emerged from an earlier one. Later, two scientists, Thomas Huxley and Richard Owen, supported him.

Even though scientists held several views and theories, the major problem was proof because there was a lack of fossil intermediaries. He called his finding Pithecanthropus erectus or Java Man.

Additional fossils were discovered in Africa in and the study of the evolution of humans began thereafter. Here is the list of seven Homo species that have existed on Earth:. Homo heidelbergensis lived on Earth betweenandyears ago.

They emerged from Africa. The Homo heidelbergensis male was about 5ft 9in cm tall and weighed around lbs 62kgwhereas the female average height was 5ft 2in cm and with a weight of lbs 51kg. They were the first human species to adapt to colder climates and to build their own shelters to live in.

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They were also widely known for their ability to hunt large animals, which had not been seen in human species before them. The first Homo heidelbergensis fossil was discovered on October 21,by a worker in Germany. The workman handed it over to Professor Otto Schoetensack from the University of Heidelberg who later identified and named the fossil. Homo rudolfensis is another extinct species that falls into the hominid category.

They are believed to have lived around 1. Their physical build, weight, and height is still unknown due to the scarcity of cranial fossils. Paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey and her team announced the discovery of a face and two jawbones belonging to Homo rudolfensis on August 8, It was first thought to be around three million years old but later this was corrected to 1.

The difference in the skull from other Homo species led to the creation of a new species called Homo rudolfensis. There are certain features of the ER to suggest that it is no different from other Homo species such as the lack of heavy muscle, the crests of australopithecine crania, and the smoothly rounded occipital bone similar to that of Homo erectus.

However, other key features suggest that Homo rudolfensis are different from other Homo species having much longer faces with the upper part being narrower than the middle, and with many more megadont postcanines. Homo habilis was another species of hominids who lived on Earth between 2.


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