ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human evolution. Computer artwork of four stages in human evolution. Comparisons of DNA and fossil records suggest that humans and modern African apes evolved from a common ape-like ancestor (left). The ancestors of humans diverged from the ancestors of today's African apes, which include gorillas and chimpanzees, between 5 to 8 million years ago. Australopithecus anamensis (pink) was a bipedal hominid that lived 4.2 to 3.9 million years ago. Homo erectus (mauve) lived 1.8 to 0.3 million years ago and had a skeleton very similar to modern humans, although it was thicker and heavier. The modern human (Homo sapiens) is at right.
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