human evolution

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The Evolution of Man

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Human evolution is the prolonged process of human beings progressing from ape like structures to more of what we look like today. The first humans were discovered in Africa over two million years before modern day humans known as homo sapiens were established. There are six stages of human evolution: Dryopithecus, Ramapithecus, Australopithecus ,Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Homo Sapiens (Neanderthals), and Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Furthermore since the world is constantly evolving, is there a possibility that the human species can go extinct?

The evolutionary process of human development has given rise to a variety of different theories. One theory that stands out the most is Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. According to Darwinism there are four principles at work in evolution. The first principle is natural selection, due to more individuals being produced each generation than the amount that can survive. Second is variation, phenotypic variation exist among everyone and is heritable. Third is inheritance, individuals with heritable traits that are better suited to their environment will survive. Lastly survival of the fittest.

Evolution is the result of the interactions between genetic mutation and recombination, reproductive isolation, chromosomal abnormalities, and natural selection. Through these interactions humans have been able to evolve from different stages. It is said that humans came from apes, so the first stage is Dryopithecus, a genus of great apes that are now extinct. These apes lived in areas such as Africa, Europe, India and China where the tropical lowlands were densely forested. As a result of their environment, dryopithecus were considered herbivores and only consumed the fruit and leaves available to them. Dryopithecus anatomy suggests that the species walked on all fours (quadrupedalism). Ramapithecus are also a genus of extinct great apes. The height of these apes were about 5ft which is equivalent to the height of a modern orangutan. Discovery of the apes ranged from Punjab to Africa in the open grasslands. Two pieces of evidence that confirmed their existence were their robust jaws and thickened tooth enamel. Unlike the other species, Australopithecus are the longest lived early human species in the world. Australopithecus originated in Africa around 4 million years ago before spreading throughout the continent. Scientists first discovered the fossils of the species in South Africa in 1924. Standing only 4 feet tall this species was more advanced than its previous primates. These animals were Bipedalists and used stones as weapons. The original humans, Homo habilis, occupied the earth about 2.4 million years ago in the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa. According to scientist Homo habilis, also known as the handyman were thought of as the inventors of stone tools. The characteristics that Homo habilis embodied were slightly larger braincases and smaller facial features. But the species still retained some of the ape-like features, including long arms and a moderately- prognathic face. In contrast to Australopithecus, consume high quantities of meat and lived in polygynous societies.

Homo erectus (upright man) is an extinct human species that occupied the earth 2 million years ago. Height ranging from 4.8 to 6.1 ft these primates created tools out of bone and wood and did collective haunting .There was also evidence that they used fires. Like the others this species had large cranial capacities; however they were the first human species to exhibit a flat face.The first fossils of a Homo Erectus was found in Java in 1891.

The Homo Erectus evolved into Homo Sapiens (neanderthal) around 40,000 years ago . Neanderthals lived in eurasia. The cranial capacity of Neanderthal was larger than Homo erectus; it grew from 1200 to 1600 cc. This species of hominids could hunt big names such as mammoths. The population went extinct possibly because of climate change and disease.

Lastly, Homo Sapiens are considered the most intelligent species, their brain capacity is larger than any of their other primates . Humans are the only one to come up with a language and stand erect. We are considered humans and Bipedalists.

We’re surprisingly not done evolving. Humans will eventually go extinct. There are many different theories of how we are going to go extinct. A popular one that the media hypes up is an asteroid hitting earth and destroying the human population as a whole.

Works Cited:

Little, Becky. “How Did Humans Evolve?” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 5 Mar. 2020, www.history.com/news/humans-evolution-neanderthals-denisovans.

institution, smithson. “Homo Habilis.” The Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program, 10 Jan. 2020, humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-habilis.

Admin, unknown. “Stages of Evolution of Human Beings.” BYJUS, BYJU’S, 19 Oct. 2020, byjus.com/biology/evolution-by-stages/.

foundation, wikipedia. “Human Evolution.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Nov. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution.

foundation, wikipedia. “Darwinism.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwinism.

foundation, wikipedia. “Dryopithecus.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryopithecus.

foundation. “Homo Habilis.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Oct. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_habilis.

foundation, wikipedia. “Human Evolution.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Nov. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution.

Glossary:

Homo is the latin word for human

Evolution is the change of characteristics over time

Homo Habilis ( the handyman) were the first human to inhabit the earth

Prognathic face refers to a structural abnormality within the jaw

Natural selection means that organisms that adapt to their environment will survive

Quadrupedalism an animal that walks on all four

Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs or legs.

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