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Early human evolution
The first known ancestors, Australopithecines, lived in the past approximately 14 million years ago
Humans fall under a category of this ancestry known as “Homo”
Also, they fall under a family of primates known as Hominids
Humans had a common ancestry with our close relatives, Chimpanzees and Apes
The original ancestors are characterized by small brains, massive jaws, living in trees and bipedalism
Among the most significant earliest hominid fossils, is the Australopithecus, discovered in Africa
(specifically, East African region)
Australopithecines, such as Australopithecus africanus (“Taung child”), are the basic links to human ancestry
The first Australopithecine discovered outside South Africa was Zinjanthropus, discovered in 1959 by Mary
Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.
With changes in climate, hominids evolved through a couple of chronological phases; homo habilis, homo
erectus, homo neanderthalensis to the existing homo sapiens.
The evolution periods were further subdivided into the upper, middle and lower Paleolithic periods
• Existed approximately 4 million years
• Had ape-like facial attributes including a
projecting lower jaw bone and a flat nose.
• Had a ...