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The Evolution of the Homo Genus

Updated on August 17, 2017
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Humorist take on the Evolution of Man
Humorist take on the Evolution of Man | Source

Homo Genus

The Homo genus walked the earth around 2.3 to 2.4 million years ago. The genus distinguishes itself from early hominids for its use of culture, language, and tools. Physical characteristics entail larger brains, a high forehead, a reduction of teeth, a rounder skull, short arms and longer legs and having a gentle skeletal frame. Below is a chart, including all species among Homo Genus, in evolutionary order, starting from Homo Habilis to Homo Sapiens

Species Among the Homo Genus:

Homo Habilis
Homo Floresiensis
Homo Cepranensis
Homo Rudolfensis
Homo Rhodesiensis
Homo Heidelbergensis
Homo Egaster
Homo Georgicus
Homo Neanderthalensis
Homo Erectus
Homo Antecessor
Homo Sapiens

Homo Habilis

Known as the ancestor to modern man, the two million year old species Homo Habilis had a distinct flat nose and larger brain size, and for the first time in the Genus, the use of tools have been determined.

Homo Habilis

Homo Habilis - Forensic Facial Reconstruction/Approximation
Homo Habilis - Forensic Facial Reconstruction/Approximation | Source

Homo Rudolfensis

Discovered in 1972 at Koobi Fora in Kenya, this species is very similar to the Homo Habilis save for the difference in the skull, which is smaller in cranial size than Homo Rudolfensis. The species is dated at 1.9 to 1.8 million years ago.

Homo Egaster

Origins of Eastern and Southern Africa around 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago. This species was thought to be the direct ancestor of Homo Erectus, but now classified as ancestor to Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Neanderthalensis, and Homo Sapiens.

Homo Erectus

Known as the "upright man", these species lived around 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago, and possibly originating in Africa, and migrating to other areas such as India, China and Java. Some researchers believe that it could be the other way around with the species starting off in China.

Homo Erectus

A model of the face of an adult female Homo erectus, one of the first truly human ancestors of modern humans, on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
A model of the face of an adult female Homo erectus, one of the first truly human ancestors of modern humans, on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. | Source

Homo Floresiensis

Discovered in on Flores Island off of Indonesia, these hominin species is between 94,000 to 13,000 years ago and is recognized by a small stature and brain size.

Homo Rhodesiensis

Also known as the 'Broken Hill Man', this specimen was found in a Zambian mine, in 1921, by Swiss miner, Tom Zwiglaar. The cranium is described a large-brained species, which originated between 120,000 and 300,000 years ago.

Homo Georgicus

A skull and near complete skulls were discovered in the Republic of Georgia in 1991. This bipedal specimen stood about 1.3 m tall and had an omnivore diet. It has been suggested, but not yet proven that the Homo Georgicus could provide an evolutionary bridge between the Habilis and the Erectus.

Homo Georgicus

Homo Georgicus
Homo Georgicus | Source

Homo Antecessor

The Antecessor is a controversial specimen. Discovered among several remains at the the Gran Dolina site in Spain, this specimen is believed to be the earliest European find, and a valid argument for the original of the Heidelbergensis, in addition to the Antecessor species. Of the six specimens found there is evidence that would suggest a case of cannibalism.

Homo Cepranensis

Found in 1994 near the Italian town of of Ceprano, this species possibly originated in Eurasia between 800,000 and 900,000 years, and according to some three-hundred times as ancient as Rome. The cranial data interpret a correlation between Erectus and Heidelbergensis, and originating long before Neanderthalensis.

Homo Heidelbergensis

These species lived in Africa, Asia and Europe about 700,000 to 200,000 years ago. An early human species, which lived in colder climates, and had the capability for the oldest known use of fire and the ability to use hunting spears.

Homo Heidelbergensis

Homo Heidelbergensis model
Homo Heidelbergensis model | Source

Homo Neanderthalensis

So far, the Neanderthal is the closest link to modern humanity. Described as short and stocky, this species of Homo Sapiens lived in colder climates of Europe and parts of Western and Central Asia. They are important in the evolutionary chain for the distinct fact that they are the first species to use sophisticated tools, maintain fire, design clothing, and build dwellings for shelter. A most profound find of these sub-species was the burial of their dead, giving Anthropologists insight into the inner-workings of advanced Neanderthal behaviors.

Homo Neanderthanlensis

Homo neanderthalensis. Skull discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints (France).
Homo neanderthalensis. Skull discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints (France). | Source

Homo Sapiens

Homo Sapiens are just a scientific term in alignment with the Human species. Modern humans first appeared on the evolutionary scale in Africa around 200,000 years ago. Known as 'hunters and gatherers' this species can be described as having a lighter body scale than their evolutionary counterparts. Having very large brains, no other species in the Homo Genus has dominated in such a way as the advancement of intelligence of modern man.

"I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

The Continuum

Now that we have gone down the Evolutionary Chain, and have examined the slow change of Homo Genus existence, I am left with one thought provoking question.

What and when will be the fate of modern Homo Sapiens?

In the Anthropology world. It is known that the average life span of a species is narrowly a few million years. It is reasonable to suggest that with every second, every hour, every day, and every year, a species will cease to exist. If this is the case, where does that leave modern man? Will it likely be that the Homo Sapien race will eventually die out, or because of their superior intelligence, and willingness to survive allow them to exist?

The sad fact is we will never know, but if I had to guess, given the combustible environment in which mankind exists today, I would make a calculated guess and answer ... NO

Perhaps the coveted intelligence with which mankind cohabitates will be it's very own downfall, leading to a new evolutionary existence, one that evolves into a more supreme intelligence and graduates to a higher spiritual plane.

Evolution of the genus homo (Addison-Wesley modular program in anthropology)
Evolution of the genus homo (Addison-Wesley modular program in anthropology)

Series: Addison-Wesley modular program in anthropology

Paperback: 188 pages

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co (1973)

Language: English

 

© 2013 ziyena

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