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Humans. Classifying Humans. Kingdom : Animalia Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order :Primates Family : Hominidae Genus :Homo Species :sapiens. Eumetazoa (Triploblastic) Bilateria Deuterostomes Coelomates Radial, indeterminate cleavage Segmented

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Classifying humans

Classifying Humans

Kingdom :Animalia

Phylum :Chordata

Class :Mammalia

Order :Primates

Family :Hominidae

Genus :Homo

Species :sapiens

  • Eumetazoa (Triploblastic)

  • Bilateria

  • Deuterostomes

  • Coelomates

  • Radial, indeterminate cleavage

  • Segmented

  • Chordates

  • Craniates

  • Vertebrates

  • Gnathostomes

  • Tetrapods

  • Amniotes

  • Mammals (Placental or Eutherian)

  • Primates

  • Anthropoids

  • Homonins (Homonids)

Humans are mammals with a large brain and bipedal locomotion

Humans are mammals with a large brain and bipedal locomotion

More human characteristics

More Human Characteristics

  • Upright gait

  • Bipedal locomotion

  • Reduced jawbones and muscles

  • Shorter digestive tracts

  • Large brain

  • Language (FOXP genes)

  • Symbolic thought

Mosaic evolution

Different human features evolved at different times – such as brain size, upright posture, etc.

Erect posture and bipedalism lead the way

Humans and chimpanzees (but also other apes) diverged from the same ancestor 6 to 8 million years ago

There are about 20 known extinct human-like species – collectively called homonins

Oldest homonin fossil is that of the Sahelanthropus tchadensis

Mosaic Evolution

Human evolution is not a ladder but a highly branched tree

Human Evolution is not a ladder, but a highly branched tree

  • Multiple homonin species may have existed on Earth at the same time

  • These homonin had different

    • skull sizes

    • body sizes

    • brain size,

    • diets

Ardipithecus ramidus

(4.4 million year ago), could it be the ancestor of Australopithecus?

Reduced canines, small brain, both bipedal and arboreal

Ardipithecus ramidus

Sahelantrhopus tchadensis

Sahelantrhopus tchadensis



  • Lived about 6-7 million years ago in Africa

  • Reduced canine teeth

  • Showed some bipedal locomotion and upright gait (as seen in foramen magnum)

The australopiths lived about 4 2 million years ago

In 1924 British anthropologist discovered a skull of an early human in South Africa

Named him Australopithecus africanus (southern ape of Africa)

The AustralopithsLived about 4 – 2 million years ago

Australopithecus africanus

Australopithecus africanus

  • A. africanus lived about 3 – 2.4 m.y.a.

  • First hominid to walk fully upright – hence bipedal

  • But brain was a third the size of modern human

Australopithecus anamensis

Australopithecus anamensis

  • Lived about 4.5 – 4 million years ago

  • Leg bones indicate possible bipedalism (not all the time)

Australopithecus afarensis

In 1974, In the afar region of Ethiopia, Donald Johanson discovered the remains of another Australopithecus species – a small female

They named her “Lucy” – scientific name Australopithecus afarensis (Southern Ape)

A.afarensis was first to walk fully upright

Lucy is 3.2 million years old and her species roamed Africa for about 1 million years

Australopithecus afarensis



The homos homo habilis

The HomosHomo habilis

  • Homo habilis – The “handyman” – fashioned simple tools

  • 2.5 million years

  • Larger brain compared to Australopithecus

  • Coexisted with Australopithecus – may not have competed with each other

Homo erectus possibly the asian branch of another homo homo ergaster

Homo erectus – “Upright Man”

Lived about 1.8 million years ago to about 250,000 years ago

First to be a hunter-gatherer, instead of just a gatherer

Learned to eat meat – so a better traveller!

Homo erectus was first to migrate out of Africa – to Asia and Europe fossils of Java man and Beijing Man support this

Taller than H.habilis, larger brains

Made more complex tools, lived in huts/shelter they made, built fires, clothed themselves – survived different climates

Lived and hunted in groups (primitive society)

Homo erectus (possibly the Asian branch of another Homo – Homo ergaster)

Homo erectus peking man java man

Homo erectus (Peking man, Java man)

Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

Descended from H. erectus

Lived in Europe and the Middle East 135,000 years ago to about 35,000 years ago

Skilled toolmakers, buried their dead, performed rituals (developing culture)

Had anatomical equipment for speech

Homo sapiens Neanderthalensis

  • May have coexisted with Homo sapiens

  • Could they have interbred?

Homo sapiens cro magnon

Homo sapiens Cro Magnon

  • The most human-like homo species is the Homo sapiens CroMagnon. Modern mtDNA studies suggest that they were actually Homo sapiens sapiens

  • Date back to about 35,000 years

  • Discovered in a cave in CroMagnon, France

  • They were anatomically modern, but were a little more “hefty”

  • The people of Finland are the most closely related to these humans

  • They probably interacted with both: the Homo sapiens neaderthalensisas well as the Homo sapiens sapiens

Cro magnon

Cro Magnon

Homo sapiens sapiens

Oldest H.sapiens fossil dates back to 200,000 -100,000 years

Fossils have been found in Africa as well as Israel, not far from fossils of H.sapiens Neanderthalensis

H.sapiens sapiens and H.sapiens Neanderthalensis coexisted in the region for 40,000 years – but did not interbreed (disputed)

Both evolutionary dead ends

Homo sapiens sapiens

The end


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