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  • Hey there and welcome to Life Noggin.

  • Human evolution is incredibly complicated.

  • Around 6 to 8 million years ago, a common ancestor we share with chimps diverged genetically,

  • with one lineage eventually giving rise to modern day humans.

  • The path to Homo sapiens is far from straightforward and there are a lot of early-human ancestors

  • that once existed.

  • But what were some of them like and how did humans get to where they are?

  • Let’s start off with one of the most famous human-like groups: the Australopithecus.

  • These small-brained creatures are thought to be closely related to, if not actual ancestors

  • of, modern humans.

  • Certain species, like Australopithecus afarensis, lived in eastern Africa around 3 to 4 million

  • years ago, walked upright on two legs, and had ape-like faces.

  • They also had strong arms and curved fingers perfect for climbing trees, making them like

  • the short human-slash-ape version of Tarzan -- but without the long, glorious hair.

  • Next up is the species Homo habilis, which lived around 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago,

  • also in Africa.

  • As we mentioned in a previous video, their name meanshandy manand they were able

  • to make and use tools.

  • They also have ape-like features, but with smaller teeth and faces, but larger skulls

  • compared to the Australopithecus.

  • And based on fossil evidence, scientists believe that Homo habilis may have coexisted with

  • another species of early humans, Homo erectus, for almost half a million years.

  • Speaking of Homo erectus, they had the most human-like body proportions out of all the

  • species weve discussed so far, making them better equipped for life on the ground instead

  • of climbing trees.

  • And they were quite the travelers, expanding their reach to beyond just Africa and into

  • Asia and Europe.

  • They lived between 1.9 million years ago and about 140,000 years ago, and during this time,

  • they made improvements to their tools and used fires to cook food, which also conveniently

  • kept away large predators.

  • Boy, do I love living in a house where those things can’t get me now.

  • And of course, we have the Neanderthals -- our closest extinct human relative.

  • They lived between 300,000 and 30,000 years ago and are known for their large, receding

  • forehead and distinct brow ridges.

  • Hashtag brows on fleek, am I right?!

  • They were also short and stocky, which was an evolutionary adaptation to the cold conditions

  • they were living in.

  • And like modern humans, they buried their dead.

  • And interestingly, when modern humans first started moving out of Africa at least 60,000

  • years ago, they met with Neanderthals and mated with them.

  • But the Neanderthals didn’t just stop there -- they also interbred with another species

  • called the Denisovans.

  • Modern humans did this too, which is why some present-day people have some Denisovan DNA.

  • But what else did Homo sapiens do besides interbreeding?

  • Well, as they experienced changing climates and moved across the globe, they continued

  • to adapt to their environment.

  • They had larger brains than their early ancestors, which they needed in order to deal with the

  • growing complexity of their tools, culture, and language.

  • They developed agriculture and improved on their technology, which eventually led to

  • the creation of everything we have today.

  • Needless to say, it will be very interesting to see where the future of human evolution

  • takes this species, seeing how much change there has already been.

  • Make sure you come back every Monday for a brand new video.

  • As always, I’m Blocko and this has been Life Noggin.

  • Don’t forget to keep on thinking!

Hey there and welcome to Life Noggin.

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