A True Story of the Origins of Homo Sapiens

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Although the fossil record shows early manifestations of modern humans appearing around , years ago, it would take many thousands more years until something emerged we would recognise as one of our own. The final strand of evidence comes from analysis of both ancient and modern human genes. Once again, the scientists found evidence of huge diversity in our deep past, evidence of which can still be found in modern Africans.

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Our ancestry was multi-ethnic. And the evolution of our material culture was, well, multi-cultural," said Dr Scerri. In relatively modern times, humanity has rapidly evolved to adapt to the development of agriculture, and according to Dr Scerri this state of constant flux will continue into the future as well. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?

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Spread the word. Steve Coogan. Rugby union. Motor racing. US sports. Rugby League. Geoffrey Macnab. Tech news. Tech culture. News videos. Explainer videos. Sport videos. Money transfers. Current Anthropology 44, For millions of years all humans, early and modern alike, had to find their own food.

They spent a large part of each day gathering plants and hunting or scavenging animals.

Rethinking the origins of Homo sapiens | Cosmos

By , years ago modern humans were collecting and cooking shellfish and by 90, years ago modern humans had begun making special fishing tools. Then, within just the past 12, years, our species , Homo sapiens , made the transition to producing food and changing our surroundings. Humans found they could control the growth and breeding of certain plants and animals. As humans invested more time in producing food, they settled down.

Villages became towns, and towns became cities. With more food available, the human population began to increase dramatically. Our species had been so successful that it has inadvertently created a turning point in the history of life on Earth.

Modern humans evolved a unique combination of physical and behavioral characteristics, many of which other early human species also possessed, though not to the same degree. The complex brains of modern humans enabled them to interact with each other and with their surroundings in new and different ways. They made specialized tools, and use tools to make other tools, as described above; they ate a variety of animal and plant foods; they had control over fire; they lived in shelters; they built broad social networks, sometimes including people they have never even met; they exchanged resources over wide areas; and they created art, music, personal adornment, rituals, and a complex symbolic world.

Modern humans have spread to every continent and vastly expanded their numbers. They have altered the world in ways that benefit them greatly. But this transformation has unintended consequences for other species as well as for ourselves, creating new survival challenges. Fossils and DNA confirm humans are one of more than species belonging to the order of Primates. Within that larger group, humans are nested within the great ape family.

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Although we did not evolve from any of the apes living today, we share characteristics with chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans the great apes , as well as other apes. We most likely evolved from Homo heidelbergensis , the common ancestor we share with Neanderthals, who are our closest extinct relatives. Cro-Magnon 1 is a middle-aged, male skeleton of one of the first modern human fossils ever found, at Cro-Magnon, France in Species Homo sapiens. Slideshows Videos Audio.