Human evolution

Human evolution

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Human evolution. Diagram, from 1931, illustrating the evolution of humans and apes from the monkeys. Diverging branches (black) show the evolution over time (bottom to top) of monkeys (lower left), apes (centre) and early humans (upper right) from a common ancestor. Australopithecus (dotted lines) was placed in the evolutionary tree either as an ape, or between apes and humans (the latter is now considered correct). Later discoveries showed many of the ideas here to be wrong: the geological timescale at left (mostly guesswork) was greatly expanded, and older fossils have now been found - the ape-human split is thought to have occurred 5 million years ago; Piltdown Man was exposed as a fake; and modern humans are considered a single species. Artwork from New Discoveries relating to The Antiquity of Man (Sir Arthur Keith, 1931).

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