The evolution of man began about 15 million years ago when the first known man walked this earth. Humans today developed through many stages of evolution from primates that are now extinct. This evolutionary process from the primates who walked on all four limbs to the humans today who walk on two hind limbs has been a very long one.
The genus of the human being today is called Homo and the man today is called as Homo sapiens. From simple life forms that were unicellular to the development of multicellular organisms gave rise to the vertebrates. The vertebrates began evolving that led to the development of mammals. Among the mammals, humans are most closely related to primates such as the orangutan
The family to which human beings belong is called Hominidae. It was in the Miocene age that the family Hominidae split from the Pongidae(apes) family. Dryopethicus was the first in the evolution of man in the stages of evolution and some believe him to be the common ancestor of man and apes.
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He was the earliest known ancestor of man. At the same time as his existence, Ramapethicus existed who was more human-like than Dryopethicus. Dryopethicus inhabited the European region and some parts of Asia and Africa. Stages of evolution of humans began from him. After Dryopethicus and Ramapethicus came to the genus Australopethicus which preceded the genus Homo.
Australopithecus ramidus: Was 1.2 meters tall and the fossils show the foramen magnum that was large to indicate upright walking. The forelimbs were different from those of the earlier ape-like ancestors. They had teeth like humans.
Australopithecus afarensis– ‘Lucy’ the famous fossil belonged to this species. They are said to have inhabited the African mainland. And they were shorter than the Australopithecus ramidus and had a small skull with flat noses and no chin. They were able to walk on two legs but the legs were slightly bowed which made their walk slightly ape-like. The bowed legs, fingers, and toes enabled them to climb trees and live there. They had large teeth and jaws.
Australopithecus africanus– These also inhabited the African mainland. They were bipedal and had a small skull with small brains than Homo erectus but larger than their predecessors. Also, they had large teeth compared to current day humans and were herbivorous. They had large jaws.
Australopithecus robustus– He was taller than his predecessors but still ape-like. They also weighed more than their ancestors. After the Australopithecus genus came the Homo genus. The first man in the genus was Homo habilis.