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Human Evolution Progress

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Introduction to Human Evolution

Over 7 million years of evolution have led to the most prominent species on the planet, Homo sapiens. Fossil records and studies of morphology, physiology, and embryology have been used to trace human evolution.

We are members of the order Primates and belong to the family Hominidae. Hominids are similar to humans in that they also belong to that order. The ancestors of their descendants evolved and became increasingly distinct as time passed.

It is believed that humanity's first ancestors came from Africa, eventually migrating to Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.

A Detailed Look at Human Evolution

Our species is classified as Mammalia, a group that is characterized by the presence of mammary glands to nurture our young. Aside from this characteristic, humans share all other characteristics in common with Vertebrates and Chordates. Mammals were first derived from shrews. Ancestors of primates are believed to have descended from tree shrews. This creature had cone-shaped eyes. Monkeys, apes, and man belong to the order primates. Humans were also believed to have come from apes, however, the truth is that humans and apes shared an ancestor that had characteristics of both. The common ancestor of humans was Dryopithecus, which was more like an ape. It was from this common ancestor that humans and apes evolved in different directions.

Classification of Humans

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Subphylum - Vertebrata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Primates

Family - Hominidae

Genus - Homo

Species - Sapiens

Process of Human Evolution

In evolutionary processes, a species either becomes adapted to its environment or becomes extinct through a series of changes. Changes in our genetic material are the result of evolution. This process does not affect one organism, but rather the whole class of organisms that belong to the same family.

A Number of Stages Led to the Evolution of Man

  • Dryopithecus

Humans descend from it as their earliest ancestors. Africans, Asians and Europeans all possessed one. Through him, mankind evolved. Then there was Australopithecus, followed by Dryopithecus.

  • Australopithecus

They stood 1.2 meters tall and had the ability to walk upright. They lived on the continent of Africa. Their jaws were large and their teeth were human-like.

  • Homo Habilis

Their height was five feet and they were able to use tools. Their language is believed to have been spoken.

  • Homo Erectus

They were more advanced beings. Their heads were larger and upright as well. They spoke clearly. Fire was invented by them, and they were carnivores.

  • Homo Sapiens

Modern men are like this. Through the development of tools, omnivores, using tools, and producing art, they gained the power of thinking. They lost roughly 1300 cubic centimeters of brain capacity.

  • Neanderthals

In the past few thousand years, prior to the arrival of Homo sapiens, there were a few other species of hominids besides the modern human species - the Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo floresiensis. Rather than treating Neanderthals as separate species, scientists consider them to be subspecies of people.

Difference Between Apes and Man



They have long body hair.

They have short body hair.

They used their hands for walking thus were quadrupedal.

They walk on two legs. Hands are not used for walking.

Hands are longer than legs.

Legs are longer than hands.

The U-shaped jaw is present.

The C-shaped jaw is present

Two curves in the vertebral column are present.

Four curves in the vertebral column are present.

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FAQs on Human Evolution Progress

1. Explain why evolution should not be equated with progress?

Evolution refers to the creation of many branches from common descent or ancestry. Diversity of organisms is generated and the surviving species is the one that is naturally selected. The parent species from which the new species have come is not eliminated but still remains alive. The only difference is that they now become reproductively isolated. Apes still exist on earth but cannot reproduce with man and it's a clear example.

Progress refers to a single person's development and comparison from the previous state. This definitely cannot be applied to evolution as less developed species are still present on earth with humans. Progress is like climbing a ladder but this can not be considered true for evolution.

2. What are the Different Types of Evolution?

There are three types of Evolution present.

  • Parallel Evolution

In this type of Evolution, two different species evolve independently of each other. The species are unrelated to each other and it is not necessary that this evolution takes place in the same habitat or niche.

  • Divergent Evolution

In this, two closely related species evolve from a common ancestor or parent but become different from each other.

  • Convergent Evolution

In this type of evolution, two unrelated species share common characteristics due to the same habitat. For example, whales and sharks both live in water but their origin is different.

3. What are the three major changes in human evolution?

Human evolution has been marked by the appearance of opposable thumbs, an enlarged brain, and the loss of hair. Humans developed tool-making abilities by developing opposable thumbs and a large brain, which enabled them to engineer the environment in their favor. Since they were able to lose heat more effectively with fewer hairs, they were able to be more effective endurance runners. Humans had become highly successful hunters due to all these changes.

4. What is the average time it would take humans to evolve?

Six million years approximately. People evolved from apelike ancestors through an extensive process of change. According to research, all physical and behavioral traits shared by humans evolved over roughly six million years from apelike ancestors.

5. Is evolution random?

No, evolution is not random. Natural selection works through variations in genetics, but natural selection itself is not random. In a given local environment, an individual's inherited traits work in concert to determine whether it will survive and reproduce. It is dependent on the genes of the individual whether it is well-adapted to its environment so that it will survive and reproduce.

6. In Biology, what is a species?

It is not common in nature for one species to breed with another. In captivity, there is sometimes the possibility of interbreeding between members of different species, such as between lions and tigers. These sorts of closely related animal species are often kept apart by geographical isolation and individual differences in behavior, including habitat choice. Hybridization can also sometimes occur between closely related species of plants, but naturally these hybrids are uncommon. Therefore, a species is described by science as a population that is reproductively isolated from other groups of its kind that are interbreeding.

7. In what way do organisms evolve?

An organism does not evolve on its own. A population evolves. Some individuals in a population are better able to survive and reproduce given certain environmental conditions due to their unique characteristics. Generally, these individuals survive and have more offspring, passing on their advantageous characteristics to succeeding generations. Eventually, populations change.

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