Fantastic graphic produced by The Smithsonian Institute illustrating human origins. Click on any of the group or species labels for more detailed information.
That beats the "tree of knowledge" in the Garden of Eden story. thank you.
Excellent family tree - clear and easy to understand!
Just a couple of things ...
Sahelanthropus tchadensis appeared very early, not long after the last common ancestor of humans and chimps existed.
I read somewhere that some scientists believe that Homo sapiens and H. neanderthalensis both evolved from H. heidelbergensis. Is this view still held?
Cofty thank you for this information. Very, very interesting. I wish I had a time machine that allowed me to see some of these things first hand. I am so happy the ones who work so hard to discover this information were not JW because we would not know any of this. Great job. Still Totally ADD
Thanks for sharing Cofty!
Here are some interesting points on the relationship between Neanderthals and us:
Evolutionary Tree Information: Both fossil and genetic evidence indicate that Neanderthals and modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved from a common ancestor between 500,000 and 200,000 years ago. Neanderthals and modern humans belong to the same genus (Homo) and inhabited the same geographic areas in Asia for 30,000–50,000 years; genetic evidence indicate while they may have interbred with non-African modern humans, they are separate branches of the human family tree (separate species).
In fact, Neanderthals and modern humans may have had little direct interaction for tens of thousands of years until during one very cold period, modern humans spread across Europe. Their presence may have prevented Neanderthals from expanding back into areas they once favored and served as a catalyst for the Neanderthal’s impending extinction. Over just a few thousand years after modern humans moved into Europe, Neanderthal numbers dwindled to the point of extinction. All traces of Neanderthals disappeared by about 40,000 years ago. The most recently dated Neanderthal fossils come from western Europe, which was likely where the last population of this early human species existed.
LUHE: "I read somewhere that some scientists believe that Homo sapiens and H. neanderthalensis both evolved from H. heidelbergensis. Is this view still held?"
Here is some relevant info from the Smithsonian site regarding that question--Homo erectus:
[One several] still unanswered questions about Homo erectus that may be answered with future discoveries: Was Homo erectus the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens, our own species?
Evolutionary Tree Information: Some scientists distinguish between the African (Homo ergaster) and Asian (Homo erectus sensu stricto) fossils of this taxon, while others lump them together as Homo erectus sensu lato. In either case, there is general agreement that it descended from an earlier species of Homo (e.g., Homo habilis) and represents one of the widest dispersals of early humans in our evolutionary history. It is likely that distinct populations of Homo erectus sensu lato led to the emergence of later hominin species, such as Homo heidelbergensis, and ultimately to our own species, Homo sapiens.
At the beginning of its time range, around 1.9 Mya, H. erectus coexisted in East Africa with several other early human species including Homo rudolfensis, Homo habilis, and Paranthropus boisei. Sometimes they were even found at the same fossil sites. At the end of its time range, around 143,000 years ago, it coexisted with Homo sapiens and possibly Homo floresiensis in Indonesia.
Interesting stuff... but this reminds me of this old guy I know who doesn't like his in-laws very much and jokes that when his wife looked up her family tree, she found that most of her relatives were still living in it.
Thank you, Cofty. So interesting. Did you see the post not more than couple mos ago here re/not all came from Africa? They found skull/bones in another region. I was going to post or PM you about and life invaded my time/thought pattern.
Thanks - don't waste your time I'll try to google but if anyone recalls the topic here.
Noticed jp's post above here -- I'll try to figure out.