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Story of humans

Story of humans

Neanderthal huntersNeanderthal huntersHumans first evolved from ape-like creatures in Africa. The first hominids (human-like beings) probably appeared over five million years ago. These early kinds are known as Australopithecines. Many later kinds of hominids, including the ancestors of modern humans, evolved in Africa. The first hominids to leave Africa, called Homo erectus, reached Central Asia about 1.8 million years ago. Modern humans, whose scientific name is Homo sapiens, did not appear until relatively recently: about 300,000 years ago.

Aegyptopithecus, the earliest-known primate Aegyptopithecus, the earliest-known primate

Ape ancestor

Humans, apes and monkeys are all descended from a single ancestor. This may have been Aegyptopithecus, or “Egyptian Ape”, which was just 40 centimetres (16 inches) long. It lived in Egypt about 35 million years ago, climbing through the trees on all fours. Of all the descendants of this tiny mammal, only humans and their human-like ancestors developed bipedalism, the ability to walk upright and on two feet.

Many scientists now suspect that Homo ergaster and Homo erectus are actually the African (ergaster) and Asian (erectus) populations of the same species—Homo erectus.

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