10 Human Evolutional Ancestors

5. Homo Habilis

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Homo habilis “handy man” is a species of the genus Homo, which lived from approximately 2.3 to 1.4 million years ago.

H. habilis was short and had disproportionately long arms compared to modern humans; however, it had a less protruding face. Despite the ape-like morphology of the bodies, H. habilis remains are often accompanied by primitive stone tools.


4. Homo Ergaster

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Homo ergaster is an extinct chronospecies of Homo that lived in eastern and southern Africa about 1.9-1.4 million years ago. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H. ergaster, but it is now widely thought to be the direct ancestor of later hominids including Homo sapiens.

H. ergaster may be distinguished from H. erectus by its thinner skull-bones and lack of an obvious bone above the eye balls. It may be distinguished from Homo heidelbergensis by its thinner bones, more protrusive face, and lower forehead. Derived features separating it from earlier species include reduced sexual dimorphism.


3. Homo Erectus

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Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that originated in Africa—and spread as far as China and Java—about 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago. It may be an Asian species slightly distinct from African ergaster but also a direct ancestor of later hominids including Homo sapiens. Some call H. ergaster the direct African ancestor of H. erectus, proposing that it emigrated out of Africa and migrated into Asia, branching into a distinct species.

H. erectus had a cranial capacity greater than that of Homo habilis : the earliest remains show a cranial capacity of 850 cm³, while the latest specimens measure up to 1100 cm³, overlapping that of H. sapiens. They were bipedal, face more like humans and used more diverse and sophisticated stone tools than its predecessors. Homo erectus was probably the first human to live in an hunter-gatherer society.


2. Homo Heidelbergensis

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Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species of the genus Homo which may be the direct ancestor of both Homo neanderthalensis in Europe and Homo sapiens. The best evidence found for these hominin date between 600,000 and 400,000 years ago.

In theory recent findings in Spain also suggest that H. heidelbergensis may have been the first species of the Homo genus to bury their dead, even offering gifts. Some experts believe that H. heidelbergensis, like its descendant H. neanderthalensis, acquired a primitive form of language. No forms of art or sophisticated artifacts other than stone tools have been uncovered, although red ochre, a mineral that can be used to create a red pigment which is useful as a paint, has been found at excavations in the south of France.


1. Neanderthal

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The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus that was found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia. No definite specimens younger than 30,000 years ago have been found.

Neanderthal stone tools provide further evidence for their presence where skeletal remains have not been found. Neanderthal cranial capacity is thought to have been as large as that of Homo sapiens, perhaps larger, indicating that their brain size may have been comparable as well. They were much stronger than Homo sapiens, having particularly strong arms and hands. They were almost exclusively carnivorous and apex predators.

Neanderthals were slightly shorter than modern humans and children may grew faster than modern human children. They might have even performed cannibalism.

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