Human Origins- Early Hominins
The earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old
Miocene Epoch- ca. 24 mya, radiation of hominoids, and POSSIBLY first hominins
Pliocene Epoch- ca. 5.5 mya, is the epoch where the first hominins definitely appeared.
Pleistocene Epoch, 2-1.8 mya, climatic fluctuations, modern forms of humans appeared
near the end of hte Pleistocene.
Recent Epoch 10-12Kya where orgins of agriculture, development of cities and
Hominin- the group consisting of modern humans, extinc human species and all
Extended childhood, Bipedalism, Recused sexual dimorphism, greater body mass,
precision grip, smaller, flatter, wider face, thicker enamel, increased brain size
Behavioural and biological characterisitcs that distinguis humans from other primates:
Culture is key to coping with the environment.
Symbolic language Bipedality
Bisexual social groups, very large brains
Environmental Background to Human Evolution
Gradual cooling, drying of climate from ~50Mya of rapid cooling and drying
Adaptive problems of early hominins
Change from tree dwellers to terrestrial primates
movement from forests to open savanna
The first critical adaptation of the hominin lineage.
Habitual and efficient bipedality restricted to homini