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Stages in human evolution, illustration

Stages in human evolution, illustration

C038/5349

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Credit

DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Stages in human evolution, illustration. At left, Proconsul (23-15 million years ago) is shown as an African ape with both primitive and advanced features. From it Australopithecus afarensis (>4- 2.5 mya) evolved and displayed a bipedal, upright gait walking on two legs. Homo habilis (2.5 mya) resembled Australopithecus but also used stone tools. At centre is Homo naledi (discovered 2013). About 1.5 mya Homo erectus appeared in Africa, used fire, wooden tools, and migrated into Eurasia. Homo neanderthalensis (200,000 years ago; Europe and the Middle East) was closely related to modern humans (Homo sapiens, right). DNA analysis of a specimen of Homo sapiens (Cheddar Man) suggests the darker skin tone shown here, though it is not possible to be certain about the skin colours of prehistoric humans.

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