Answer to Question #111698 in Biology for Felicia Ngubandze

Question #111698
Discuss human evolution
Expert's answer

The early evolution of hominids took place in Africa. From about 6 to 1 million years ago, a large and diverse group of bipedal apes lived in Africa. About 4.2 million years ago, Australopithecus appeared there. Similar to other bipedal apes, Australopithecus moved on two legs.

The genus Homo separated from Australopithecus or similar hominin about 2 million years ago in Africa. About 2.4 million years ago, a rapid increase in the brain occurred in one of the lines of hominids. The first representative hominin, in which the brain volume exceeded the typical for chimpanzees and Australopithecus, is Homo habilis. He was the first to make the simplest stone tools.

Homo ergaster, which appeared about 1.9 million years ago, had increased brain volume, as well as body size. It is suggested that this is due to an increase in the consumption of meat food in the diet. Perhaps Homo ergaster learned to hunt large and medium animals or learned to compete more effectively with other scavengers.

The first evidence of the use of fire by humans dates back to about 1.5 million years ago. Cooking on fire led to better nutrition.

The first people with the features of a proto-Neanderthal appeared in Europe 600-350 thousand years ago.

The oldest representatives of the species Homo sapiens appeared as a result of evolution 400-250 thousand years ago. The prevailing hypothesis of the origin of people today is African, according to which our species appeared in Africa and from there spread throughout the world, replacing the existing populations of Homo erectus and Neanderthals.

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