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Making Connection Essay

743 words - 3 pages

Human beings are one of the most unique and advanced species on Earth. Our diverse ideas, beliefs, ethnicities, and cultures are the driving forces that unite our kind together and divide our kind apart. Despite our differences and similarities, one thing is certain – we are all from Africa. By visiting the Tusher African Hall at the California Academy of Sciences, I was able to experience the concepts I studied in my physical anthropology course - the dynamic human migration map, the variation of the modern human species, and the milestones of the human ancestry– finally understanding the fact that humans, despite their differences, are in fact the descendants of one common ancestor. ...view middle of the document...

To understand the origins and milestones of our modern human species, early primate evolution, early hominin evolution and early human evolution must be examined. When entering the Tusher African Hall, visitors are “welcomed,” by an enormous gorilla, a gorilla with a wondrous yet thoughtful gaze. Gorillas and chimpanzees are human’s closest living relatives - humans share 98 % of their DNA with chimpanzees. Although humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas are distinct species, they evolved from a common ancestor that lived about 8 to 9 million years ago. Adaptive Radiation arises when one ancestral species inhabits a new region and “radiates” into multiple species. In Africa, The progenies of the dryopithecines, a genus of apes, separated into two different paths – a path leading to present day gorillas and a path to humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Conversely, another separation befell which divided the descendants into a path leading to present day bonobos and chimpanzees and a path to early hominins. The early hominins were found to be the immediate descendants of modern humans.
The Tusher’s African Hall’s re-constructed image of Lucy’s bones gave me further insight into the first milestone of the human species – walking upright. Lucy is the most famous individual belonging to the Australopithecus Afarenis. Members of...

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