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THE CHANGING TREES OF HUMAN EVOLUTION © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
1960Up the ladder The idea that one species smoothly evolves from one into another is regarded today as an oversimplification Unfortunately it is a very persistent view that continually resurfaces in cartoons © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS Public Domain Images
Up the ladder Australopithecus Homo erectus Homo sapiens © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
1970 Branching out The 1960s and 1970s were a fertile period for fossil hunting in Africa The idea developed that more than one hominid species existed at the same time developed Homo sapiens Homo erectus Homo habilis Australopithecus africanus A. robustus A. boisei Australopithecus afarensis “Lucy” Added 1974 © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
1991 Changing status As more specimens were found a clearer idea developed of the relationships between them Homo sapiens Homo erectus Homo habilis A. africanus A. robustus A. boisei Australopithecus afarensis © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
2001 From a tree to a bush ? ? ? 1 Ma 2 Ma 3 Ma 4 Ma Homo sapiens Homo erectus Homo habilis A. africanus P. robustus Paranthropus boisei Australopithecus afarensis Australopithecus anemensis Ardipithecus ramidus P. aethiopicus Homo rudolfensis H. ergaster H. heidelbergensis Homo neanderthalensis A. garhi ? ? ? © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
2003 DEEPER ROOTS ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 1 Ma 2 Ma 3 Ma 4 Ma 5 Ma 6 Ma 7 Ma Homo sapiens Homo erectus Homo habilis A. africanus Paranthropus robustus Paranthropus. boisei Australopithecus afarensis Australopithecus anemensis Ardipithecus ramidus P. aethiopicus Homo rudolfensis H. ergaster H. heidelbergensis Homo neanderthalensis A. garhi Orrorin tugensis Gorilla gorilla Sahelanthropus tchadensis “Toumai” Pan trogolodites © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
How many more? An estimated number of 16 hominid species is thought to have existed This is based on the evolutionary patterns of other primates Our family tree is similar to other species Periods of radiation Separated by periods of extinction © 2008 Paul Billiet ODWSODWS
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