How Man Evolved Essay, Research Paper
World History Human Evolution
January 19, 97
How did the early man evolve and change into the way we are today?
Human Evolution, the natural development of the species Homo Sapiens, or human
beings. The initial man, called the Hominid was short, not intelligent, and very ape like.
The next man lived in the stone age; his name was Homo Habilis. After Homo Habilis,
Homo Erectus evolved. He was smarter, more efficient, and walked up-right. And he
leaded to us, Homo Sapiens A lot of fossils, bones, and teeth have been found at various
places throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia that proved that early man existed. Tools
made of stone, bone, and wood have also have been discovered and excavated. As a result
of these discoveries, a idea of human evolution during the past 4 to 5 million years has
Most of the ability to make and use tools and other objects comes from the large size
and complexity of the human brain. through human evolution the size of the brain has
tripled. The increase in brain size may be from changes in hominid behavior. Over time,
stone tools and other artifacts became more complex and the number of them increased.
In addition, the geographic areas occupied by our ancestors expanded during human
evolution. They began to move into the tropical areas of Eurasia sometime after a million
years ago, and into the tropical parts of these continents about 500,000 years ago. Later
hominids were able to cross the water barrier into Australia. It is likely that the increase in
brain size took place to permit our ancestors to be increasingly able to live in a variety of
The third major trend in hominid development is the decrease in the size of the face and
teeth. All of the apes are equipped with large teeth that were bigger than humans. The
earliest hominid remains had great teeth that project slightly, but those of all later hominids
show a great decrease in size. With these changes is a reduction in the size of the face and
jaws. As the teeth became smaller and the brain expanded, the face became smaller and its
Between 7 and 20 million years ago, early apelike animals were greatly spread out on
the African and, later, on the Eurasian continents. Although many fossils, bones and teeth
have been found, the way of life of these mammals, and their evolutionary alikeness to the
living apes and humans are still a question to scientists. None of the fossils apes give signs
of being related directly towards us.
The fossils for human evolution begins with Australopithecus. Fossils of this primate
have been discovered in a lot of sites in eastern and southern Africa. The genus seems to
have become extinct about 1.5 million years ago and were found 4 million years ago. All
the australopithecines walked on two legs and gave the appearance of hominids. Their
teeth, jaws, and brain size are different from themselves and force a separation into four
groups; afarensis, africanus, robustus, and boisei.
The earliest australopithecine is afarensis, which lived in eastern Africa between 3 and 4
million years ago in Ethiopia and in Tanzania. Afarensis had a brain size a little larger than
chimpanzees. Some of them had dog teeth longer than later hominins. No tools have been
found with afarensis fossils. Between about 2.5 and 3 million years ago, afarensis evolved
into a later australopithecine, africanus. Known from sites in southern Africa, africanus
had a brain similar to afarensis. As with afarensis, no stone tools have been found with
Many scientists believe that there was an evolutionary split that led to robust
australopithecines, africanus evolved into the group Homo. This must have happened
between 1.5 and 2 million years ago. Fossils from this time show a mixture of traits. Some
have large brains and teeth. Others have small, Homo-sized teeth and also small
australopithecine brains. Skulls and jaws from this period have been placed in the category
Homo habilis, meaning skillful because of the fossils that were found with stone tools.
The earliest evidence of stone tools comes from sites in Africa dated to about 2.5
million years ago. By 1.5 to 2 million years ago, sites in eastern Africa include many stone
tools, but also animal bones with scratch marks that experiments show were left by knife
marks. This shows that by this time early hominids were eating meat.
Evidence of a large-brained, small-toothed man known as Homo Erectus was found
1.5 million years ago. Homo Erectus grew into the tropical areas of the Old World, and at
the end of its evolution, into the warmer parts of Asia. A lot of archaeological sites from
the time of Homo Erectus show an advancement in toolmaking than was found at the
earlier sites. At the cave site of Peking man in north China, there is proof that fire was
used. These studies suggest that hominid behavior was becoming more advanced and
efficient. Throughout the time of Homo Erectus the movements in human evolution
continued. The brain sizes of early Homo Erectus fossils are larger than those of previous
hominids. Later, Homo Erectus skulls were within the size of Homo Sapiens.
Between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, Homo Erectus evolved into Homo Sapiens.
Although placed in the same species, these early Homo Sapiens are not the same in looks
with modern humans. New evidence tells that modern man, Homo Sapiens , first appeared
more than 90,000 years ago. There is disagreement with scientists on whether the hominin
fossils show a relation to the first appearance of Homo sapiens to humans. The
Neandertals (named from the Neander Valley in Germany) occupied some parts of Europe
and the middle east from 100,000 years ago until about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, when
The arguement over the Neanderthals also asks the question of the origins of human
populations, or races. Human populations are shown by a lot of physical differences. Most
of these differences show adaptations to environmental conditions. The Neandertals and
other early Homo sapiens are seen as descending from Homo erectus and are ancestors to
Other scientists see racial differences n as a recent occurance. The features of the
Neandertals are a low, sloping forehead and a large face without a chin. They are too
primitive for them to be considered the ancestors of modern humans. According to this
theory, the begginings of modern humans can be found in Southern Africa or the Middle
East. Evolving 90,000 to 200,000 years ago, these humans then spread to all parts of the
world, supplanting the local, earlier Homo sapiens populations. In addition to som fossil
finds from southern Africa, support for this theory comes from comparisons of DNA, a
DNA form inherited only from the mother, taken from women distributing ancestors.
These studies suggest that humans derived from a single generation in sub-Saharan Africa
or southeastern Asia. Because of the tracing through the material line, this work has come
to be called the Eve hypothesis; its results are not accepted by most anthropologists,
who consider the human race to be much older.
Whatever the outcome of thisdisagreement, the evidence shows that early Homo sapiens
groups were highly efficient at exploiting the sometimes harsh climates of Ice Age Europe.
Further, for the first time in human evolution, hominines began to bury their dead
deliberately, the bodies sometimes being accompanied by stone tools, by animal bones, and
even by flowers.
Although the features of today’s people did not change human history, some changes
did take place. In addition to the first appearance of the cave art of France and Spain,
some anthropologists said that it was during that time when language came about. About
10,000 years ago, one of the most important events in human history took place, plants
were farmed, and soon after, animals were used. This made it possible for humans to
Every thing we know we got from fossils, but we still don’t know enough. The future
fossil discoveries will allow scientists to know what we don’t about human evolution.
making advanced and new tools, and increasing our knoledge will help anthropologists
find the best locations for fossil hunting more precisely. In the years ahead this will result
in an enormous increase in the understanding of human evolution.