The Evolution Of Man. Simple Outline And Examples Of Evolution.

1655 words - 7 pages

Evolution of manMan obviously shares a common ancestry with the modern apes, such as the gorilla and chimpanzee. We know this from the many characteristics that are shared between apes and man. Apart from obvious anatomical and behavioral similarities, the two groups also have many blood proteins and other biochemical characteristics in common.A comparison of the skulls of a gorilla and a modern man illustrate the main trends that have taken place in human evolution from an ape-like ancestry. But apart from the skull, there have been major changes in the hipbones of man during evolution, associated with the change from walking on four legs to walking on two. The modern apes and modern man must have had a common ancestry. The earliest apes probably arose in the Oligocene period, and by 25 million years ago had given rise to a large number of forms. Proconsul primitive ape from this period shows some resemblance to Old World monkeys as well as to modern apes.There is considerable controversy over the progress of human evolution, and particularly over when the split took place between the line leading to modern apes and to modern man.SPECIES TIME PERIODAustralopithecus afarensis 4 to 2.7 million years agoAustralopithecus africanus 3 to 2 million years agoAustralopithecus robustus 2.2 to 1.6 million years agoHomo habilis 2.2 to 1.6 million years agoHomo erectus 2.0 to 0.4 million years agoNeanderthal 200 to 35 thousand years agoCro-magnon 35 thousand years agoHomo sapien 200 thousand years ago to presentPRIMATESThe modern man is spread all over the world. Our closest relatives, the apes, the monkeys, and the lemurs, only live in tropical or subtropical areas.Today there are 153 different species of primates in the world. They are divided into five main groups:· Man; 1 genus, 1 species· Apes; 4 genera, 11 species· Old World monkeys; 14 genera, 72 species· New World monkeys; 16 genera, 33 species· Prosimians; 20 genera, 36 speciesThe primates evolved from insectivores at the beginning of the Tertiary, about 65 million years ago. In the Eocene there were many different lemurs. The new world monkeys were isolated in South- and Middle America early in the Tertiary, and still live only on that continent. The old world monkeys became numerous and common only towards the end of the Tertiary and in the Quaternary. The apes had their richest evolution in the Miocene. Today they are rare.All six main groups of primates that evolved during the Tertiary and Quaternary have living members. Therefore, studies of living species tell us a lot about the evolutionary history of the primates.FOSSIL APESThe oldest apes are known from the Oligocene. They are about 30 million years old, and are found in Africa. During the Miocene, several types of apes developed. Eventually they spread to Europe and Asia. Towards the end of the Miocene, the diversity was at its largest. It was probably at this time, in the African apes, that the evolution...

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