The following list of hominid species
is not meant to be an evolutionary
background to the present-day Homo sapiens sapiens
. Many hominid species were offshoots of the same evolutionary branch - cousins, if you will.
- 5 to 4 million years BCE
In 1995, anthopologist
s discovered the remains of a new homonid species in Ethopia
they dubbed A. ramidus
, possibly an ancestor
of A. afarensis
. The A. ramidus
skull has teeth that are more chimp
-like than those of A. afarensis
. Scholars are currently disputing whether it was a biped
, and some have suggested a new genus
name - Ardipithicus
- for this species.
- 4 to 2.7 million years BCE
- of "Lucy" fame - is classified as an ape
, not a human
, but it is considered to be a hominid. "Lucy" was discovered in Ethopia in 1972, and she is a remarkably complete skeleton. "Lucy" resembles a chimpanzee
in size, shape, and skull structure, but she did stand upright, making her a hominid.
- 3.0 to 2.0 million years BCE
was the first early hominid to be discovered, in 1924. Only a skull has been found so far. The teeth are apelike, and the position of the foramen magnum
marks this species as a biped.
- 2.2 to 1.0 million years BCE
was not an ancestor of humans; rather, it was one of the side-branches that developed. Their huge skulls and teeth mark them as vegetarians
- 2.2 to 1.6 million years BCE
shows a marked increase in brain size over previous hominid species. It lived on the African savannah
and made tools out of stone and bones.
-2 to 0.4 million years BCE
had a brain about the size of a modern human's brain, but it was configured differently. It marks the complete adaption of hominids to bipedalism. H. erectus
showed the remarkable ability to actually design
tools, and may have been the first to use fire
- 400,000 to 200,000 years BCE
The most complete H. sapiens
skull found to date is from Greece
, and other early skulls have been found in Germany
. This was the earliest form of our own species.
Homo sapiens neandertalensis
- 200,000 to 30,000 years BCE
was another "cousin" of ours, not a direct ancestor of H. sapiens sapiens
. They lived in Europe
and Western Asia alongside H. sapiens sapiens
Homo sapiens sapiens
- 130,000 years BCE to present
Hey! That's us!