Human Evolution: an overview
1 / 58

Dr Jeremy Pritchard - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Human Evolution: an overview. Dr Jeremy Pritchard. Hominoid: Great apes and humans Hominid: Closer to us than gorillas and chimps. You Cuz. Humans did not evolve from Apes You are descended from your mother and father

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

Dr Jeremy Pritchard

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Human Evolution: an overview

Dr Jeremy Pritchard

  • Hominoid: Great apes and humans

  • Hominid: Closer to us than gorillas and chimps

You Cuz

  • Humans did not evolve from Apes

  • You are descended from your mother and father

  • You are related to your aunt and cousin

Dad Mum Aunt Uncle

Common ancestor






Organisms with common features are likely to have a more recent common ancestor.



  • Grip

  • Stereo vision



1. Chimpanzee 2. Australopithecus africanus 3. Homo erectus 4. Homo sapiens

Brain size

Primate Characteristics/Trends

  • Brains larger than other animals

Brains larger than other animals in relation to body size

Log brain weight (g)

  • Brains larger than other animals

Log body weight (g)

Information from the skeleton

  • sex

  • age

  • stature

  • race/species

  • pathological conditions

  • skeletal trauma






  • Sahelanthropus tchadensis

  • close to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees @ 7 million years

Australopithecus afarensis

Lucy, discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.

Australopithecus africanus

Southern Ape of Africa

Don’t run before you can walk

Homo habilis (ca. 2.5-1.6 mya)

Homo erectus (1.6 mya-300 kya)

Homo neanderthal

Homo sapiens

Homo erectus

Homo habilis

Australopithicus africanus


Neanderthals (ca. 100-32 kya)

Neanderthals (ca. 100-32 kya)

  • Restricted to Europe, eastern Middle East during Ice Age

  • Evolved to be cold-adapted:

    • Short and stocky

    • Large nose (for warming air)

    • Barrel chest (for warming air)

    • Long, low, thick skull but with large Brain

Neanderthals are not our ancestors

NOT our ancestors….

Krings et al 1997 Neandertal DNA Sequences and the Origin of Modern Humans

Are we still evolving?

Microevolution: change in gene frequency - YES

Macro evolution : formation of species - NO

Are we still evolving?

  • Some parts of Africa have seen an increase in the frequency of a gene called CCR5-32

  • Protects against infection with HIV-1.

  • May have been selected for during bubonic plague

Human Evolution - Chimps are our closest relative

25,000 genes 25, 000 genes

  • Login