Homo Sapiens’ Origin and Human Ancestors

Modern humans, Homo sapiens, have a common African origin since Homo erectus was our first ancestor that left Africa 90,000 generations ago. According to Leakey (11:15), Homo sapiens was present on Earth 200,000 years ago, while only 30,000 years ago, there were three different upright-walking apes. The Kenyan paleontologist also reveals that previous human species lived on Earth for, on average, about a million years. Modern humans have already survived 200,000 years, but overpopulation and related resource scarcity are the main risk factors.

Stone tools were the first technology created and introduced by human ancestors 2.6 million years ago. The abundance of large mammals’ remains in Dikika indicates that this region’s climate and environment were totally different earlier. Our ancestors who lived here were minorities compared to other species. It is interesting that representatives of Australopithecus afarensis were both upright-walking and adapted to tree climbing. Moreover, the hyoid bone they had was chimpanzee-like; thus, the sound produced with its help was more similar to apes than ours (Alemseged 4:10). Selam brings fascinating insights into human ancestors’ development as it was the first fossil child ever discovered.

Six and half billion people who have different shapes, sizes, and colors speak 6,000 languages, indicating incredible human diversity. Apes emerged in Africa approximately 21 million years ago and evolved into gorillas, chimpanzees, and ultimately Homo sapiens. The human DNA analysis shows that Mitochondrial Eve originated 200,000 years ago, whereas the Y-chromosome Adam emerged only 60,000 years ago (Wells 9:30). These two individual human ancestors started the development of diversity we can see today. The human population numbered only 2,000 individuals 70,000 years ago due to the climate change caused by the last ice age. The worsening conditions made human ancestors evolve, become more social, and expand out of the African continent.

References

Alemseged, Z. “The Search for Humanity’s Roots.” TED Global, 2007. Web.

Leakey, L. “A Dig for Humanity’s Origins.” TED, 2008. Web.

Wells, S. “A Family Tree for Humanity.” TED Global, 2007. Web.

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