Human Evolution. What is a Hominid?. Modern humans & our direct and indirect ancestors after our lineage split from the chimpanzee Until recently, earliest hominids were dated between 3.5 and 2.4 mya & placed in the genus Australopithecus
Walking on Two Legs?
How far back in time does the record of bipedalism extend?
IT MAY WELL BE THAT THE LAST COMMON ANCESTOR OF CHIMPS AND PEOPLE HAD A MIX OF FEATURES: SOME RETAINED IN HUMANS, OTHERS RETAINED IN CHIMPS!
Ms. Ples – best known A. Africanus cranium – front view
Ms. Ples – best known A. Africanus cranium – lateral view
Partial skeleton of A. africanus discovered in 1950s
STS 71 – Most complete A. africanus skull
This recently discovered (1999) skull of Paranthropus robustus from Drimolen, South Africa is the most complete found so far
Note the remarkable similarity to the newly found but older skull of A. africanus (above), reinforcing notion that the 2 species represent a single ancestor-descendent lineage
Note remarkable similarity
One surprise in the A. garhi skull was enormous back teeth, instead of smaller ones seen in later Homo species (Video Image/UC Berkeley)
Not yet clear whether A. garhi falls on the direct lineage leading to modern humans, or lies on an extinct side-branch