other species or subspecies suggested, see below .
* Africanthropus Dreyer, 1935
* Atlanthropus Arambourg, 1954
* Cyphanthropus Pycraft, 1928
* Pithecanthropus Dubois, 1894
* Protanthropus Haeckel, 1895
* Sinanthropus Black, 1927
* Tchadanthropus Coppens, 1965
* Telanthropus Broom ">
Evolutionary tree chart emphasizing the
Homininae and the tribe Hominini. After diverging from the
Ponginae the early
Homininae split into the tribes Hominini
Gorillini . The early
Hominini split further, separating the line
Homo from the lineage of Pan. Currently, tribe
Hominina , containing genus Homo;
Panina , genus Pan;
Australopithecina , with several extinct genera—the subtribes
are not labelled on this chart.
Further information: List of alternative names for the human species
Homininae for an overview of taxonomy.
Latin noun homō (genitive hominis) means "human being" or "man "
in the generic sense of "human being, mankind". The binomial name
Homo sapiens was coined by
Carl Linnaeus (1758). Names for other
species of the genus were introduced beginning in the second half of
the 19th century (
H. neanderthalensis 1864, H. erectus 1892).
Even today, the genus
Homo has not been properly defined. Since
the early human fossil record began to slowly emerge from the earth,
the boundaries and definitions of the genus
Homo have been poorly
defined and constantly in flux. Because there was no reason to think
it would ever have any additional members,
Carl Linnaeus did not even
bother to define
Homo when he first created it for humans in the 18th
century. The discovery of
Neanderthal brought the first addition.
A model of the evolution of the genus
Homo over the last 2 million
years (vertical axis). The rapid "Out of Africa " expansion of H.
sapiens is indicated at the top of the diagram, with admixture
indicated with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and unspecified archaic
Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its
member species can be classified as human. And, over the decades of
the 20th century, fossil finds of pre-human and early human species
Miocene and early
Pliocene times produced a rich mix for
debating classifications. There is continuing debate on delineating
Homo from Australopithecus—or, indeed, delineating
Homo from Pan ,
as one body of scientists argue that the two species of chimpanzee
should be classed with genus
Homo rather than Pan. Even so,
classifying the fossils of
Homo coincides with evidences of: 1)
competent human bipedalism in
Homo habilis inherited from the earlier
Australopithecus of more than four million years ago, (see
and 2) human tool culture having begun by 2.5 million years ago.
From the late-19th to mid-20th century, a number of new taxonomic
names including new generic names were proposed for early human
fossils; most have since been merged with
Homo in recognition that
Homo erectus was a single and singular species with a large geographic
spread of early migrations. Many such names are now dubbed as
"synonyms " with Homo, including Pithecanthropus, Protanthropus,
Sinanthropus, Cyphanthropus, Africanthropus, Telanthropus,
Atlanthropus, and Tchadanthropus.
Classifying the genus
Homo into species and subspecies is subject to
incomplete information and remains poorly done. This has led to using
common names ("Neanderthal" and "Denisovan") in even scientific papers
to avoid trinomial names or the ambiguity of classifying groups as
incertae sedis (uncertain placement)—for example, H.
neanderthalensis vs. H. sapiens neanderthalensis, or
H. georgicus vs.
H. erectus georgicus. Some recently extinct species in the genus Homo
are only recently discovered and do not as yet have consensus binomial
Denisova hominin and
Red Deer Cave people ).
John Edward Gray
John Edward Gray (1825) was an early advocate of classifying taxa by
designating tribes and families. Wood and Richmond (2000) proposed
Hominini ("hominins") be designated as a tribe that comprised all
species of early humans and pre-humans ancestral to humans back to
after the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor ; and that
designated a subtribe of
Hominini to include only the genus
Homo—that is, not including the earlier upright walking hominins of
Pliocene such as
Orrorin tugenensis ,
Ardipithecus , or
Sahelanthropus . Designations alternative to
Hominina existed, or were offered: Australopithecinae (Gregory &
Hellman 1939) and Preanthropinae (Cela-Conde and later, Cela-Conde
and Ayala (2003) proposed that the four genera Australopithecus,
Ardipithecus, Praeanthropus, and
Sahelanthropus be grouped with Homo
Human timeline view • discuss • edit -10 — – -9 — –
-8 — – -7 — – -6 — – -5 — – -4 — – -3 — – -2
— – -1 — – 0 — Human-like
Australopithecus HOMO HABILIS HOMO ERECTUS
NEANDERTHAL HOMO SAPIENS ← Earlier apes
← Possibly bipedal ← Earliest bipedal ←
Earliest stone tools ← Earliest exit
from Africa ← Earliest fire use ← Earliest cooking
← Earliest clothes ← Modern humans
Axis scale : millions of years .
Also see: Life timeline and Nature timeline Further information:
Timeline of human evolution ,
Archaic humans , and
Several species, including
Australopithecus garhi , Australopithecus
Australopithecus africanus , and
Australopithecus afarensis ,
have been proposed as the direct ancestor of the
Homo lineage. These
species have morphological features that align them with Homo, but
there is no consensus as to which gave rise to Homo. The advent of
Homo was traditionally taken to coincide with the first use of stone
Oldowan industry), and thus by definition with the
beginning of the
Lower Palaeolithic . The emergence of
coincides roughly with the onset of
Quaternary glaciation , the
beginning of the current ice age .
A fossil mandible fragment dated to 2.8 million years ago which may
represent an intermediate stage between
discovered in 2015 in Afar, Ethiopia (
LD 350-1 ). Some authors would
push the development of
Homo past 3 Mya, by including
fossil dated 3.2 to 3.5 Mya, usually classified as an
australopithecine species) into the genus Homo.
The most salient physiological development between the earlier
australopithecine species and
Homo is the increase in cranial capacity
, from about 450 cm3 (27 cu in) in A. garhi to 600 cm3 (37 cu in) in
H. habilis. Within the genus Homo, cranial capacity again doubled from
H. habilis through
Homo ergaster or H. erectus to
by 0.6 million years ago. The cranial capacity of H. heidelbergensis
overlaps with the range found in modern humans.
Homo erectus has often been assumed to have developed anagenetically
Homo habilis from about 2 million years ago. This scenario was
strengthened with the discovery of
Homo erectus georgicus , early
specimens of H. erectus found in the
Caucasus , which seemed to
exhibit transitional traits with H. habilis. As the earliest evidence
for H. erectus was found outside of Africa, it was considered
plausible that H. erectus developed in
Eurasia and then migrated back
to Africa. Based on fossils from the Koobi Fora Formation, east of
Lake Turkana in Kenya, Spoor et al. (2007) argued that H. habilis may
have survived beyond the emergence of H. erectus, so that the
evolution of H. erectus would not have been anagenetically, and H.
erectus would have existed alongside H. habilis for about half a
million years (1.9 to 1.4 million years ago ), during the early
Human evolution and Archaic human admixture with modern
H. ergaster migrated to Asia, where they are named Homo
erectus, and to Europe with
H. ergaster in Africa and
H. erectus in
Eurasia evolved separately for almost two million years
and presumably separated into two different species.
Homo rhodesiensis, who were descended from H. ergaster, migrated from
Africa to Europe and became
Homo heidelbergensis and later (about
250,000 years ago)
Homo neanderthalensis and the
Denisova hominin in
Asia. The first
Homo sapiens, descendants of H. rhodesiensis, appeared
in Africa about 250,000 years ago. About 100,000 years ago, some H.
sapiens sapiens migrated from Africa to the
Levant and met with
resident Neanderthals, with some admixture . Later, about 70,000
years ago, perhaps after the
Toba catastrophe , a small group left the
Levant to populate
Australia and later the Americas . A
subgroup among them met the Denisovans and, after further admixture,
migrated to populate Melanesia. In this scenario, non-African people
living today are mostly of African origin ("
Out of Africa model ").
However, there was also some admixture with Neanderthals and
Denisovans, who had evolved locally (the "multiregional hypothesis ").
Recent genomic results from the group of
Svante Pääbo also show that
30,000 years ago at least three major subspecies coexisted:
Denisovans, Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans . Today, only
H. sapiens remains, with no other extant species.
LIST OF SPECIES
List of human evolution fossils
The species status of
H. rudolfensis ,
H. ergaster ,
H. georgicus ,
H. antecessor ,
H. cepranensis ,
H. rhodesiensis , H. neanderthalensis
Denisova hominin ,
Red Deer Cave people , and H. floresiensis
remains under debate.
H. heidelbergensis and
H. neanderthalensis are
closely related to each other and have been considered to be
subspecies of H. sapiens. Recently, nuclear
DNA from a Neanderthal
Vindija Cave has been sequenced using two different
methods that yield similar results regarding
Neanderthal and H.
sapiens lineages, with both analyses suggesting a date for the split
between 460,000 and 700,000 years ago, though a population split of
around 370,000 years is inferred. The nuclear
DNA results indicate
about 30% of derived alleles in H. sapiens are also in the Neanderthal
lineage. This high frequency may suggest some gene flow between
ancestral human and
Neanderthal populations due to mating between the
Homo naledi was discovered near Johannesburg,
South Africa in 2013
and announced on 10 September 2015. Fossils indicate the hominin was
1.45–1.5 meters tall and had a small brain. The fossils have been
dated to be between 335,000 and 236,000 years old.
Comparative table of
TEMPORAL RANGE KYA
CRANIAL CAPACITY (CM³)
DISCOVERY / PUBLICATION OF NAME
2,100 – 1,500
110-140 cm (4 ft 11 in)
33–55 kg (73–121 lb)
1,900 – 70
Eurasia (Java , China , India,
180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
60 kg (130 lb)
850 (early) – 1,100 (late)
Homo uncertain 1,900
also classified as H. habilis 1,900 – 600
100 cm (3 ft 3 in)
also classified as H. erectus 1,800 – 1,300
Eastern and Southern Africa
also classified as
H. heidelbergensis 1,200 – 800
175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
90 kg (200 lb)
a single fossil, possibly H. erectus 900 – 350
1 skull cap
600 – 350
Europe, Africa, China
180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
90 kg (200 lb)
possibly a subspecies of H. sapiens 350 – 40
Europe, Western Asia
170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
55–70 kg (121–154 lb) (heavily built)
150 centimetres (4 ft 11 in) tall
45 kilograms (99 lb)
possibly H. erectus 190 – 10
also classified as
H. heidelbergensis 300 – 120
(modern humans ) 300
– present Worldwide
150 - 190 cm (4 ft 7 in - 6 ft 3 in)
50–100 kg (110–220 lb)
classification uncertain 190 – 50
100 cm (3 ft 3 in)
25 kg (55 lb)
possible H. sapiens subspecies or hybrid 40
Red Deer Cave people
possible H. sapiens subspecies or hybrid 14.5–11.5
List of human evolution fossils (with images)
* Nature timeline
* ^ The conventional estimate on the age of H. habilis is at
roughly 2.1 to 2.3 million years. Stringer, C.B. (1994). "Evolution of
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Suggestions for pushing back the age to 2.8 Mya were made in 2015
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The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2015-05-30. Spoor,
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Ramón; Reed, Kaye E. (2015-03-20). "Early
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* ^ Curnoe, D (2010). "A review of early
Homo in southern Africa
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* ^ Schuster, Angela M. H. (1997). "Earliest Remains of
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Homo made final separation from the lineage of Pan by late
Miocene or early
Pliocene times—with date estimates by several
specialists ranging from 13 million years ago to more recently than
six million years ago.
* Arnason, U; Gullberg, A; Janke, A (1998). "Molecular timing of
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between humans and chimpanzees on the X chromosome is explained by a
massive interspecific hybridization event in the ancestry of these two
species. However, Patterson et al. do not statistically test their own
null model of simple speciation before concluding that speciation was
complex, and—even if the null model could be rejected—they do not
consider other explanations of a short divergence time on the X
chromosome. These include natural selection on the X chromosome in the
common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, changes in the ratio of
male-to-female mutation rates over time, and less extreme versions of
divergence with gene flow. I therefore believe that their claim of
hybridization is unwarranted." see current estimates regarding complex
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Latin humanus, an adjective
formed on the root of homo, thought to derive from a
Proto-Indo-European word for "earth" reconstructed as *dhǵhem-.
dhghem The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
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Linnaeus was designated as the lectotype for
Homo sapiens (Stearn, W.
T. 1959. "The background of Linnaeus's contributions to the
nomenclature and methods of systematic biology", Systematic Zoology 8
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Homo sapiens was validly defined as the animal species to which
* ^ Schwartz, Jeffrey H.; Tattersall, Ian (28 August 2015).
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* ^ "ape-man", from Pithecanthropus erectus (
Java Man ), Eugène
Dubois, Pithecanthropus erectus : eine menschenähnliche
Übergangsform aus Java (1894), identified with the Pithecanthropus
alalus (i.e. "non-speaking ape-man") hypothesized earlier by Ernst
* ^ "early man", Protanthropus primigenius
Ernst Haeckel ,
Systematische Phylogenie vol. 3 (1895), p. 625
* ^ "Sinic man", from Sinanthropus pekinensis (
Peking Man ),
Davidson Black (1927).
* ^ "crooked man", from Cyphanthropus rhodesiensis (Rhodesian Man )
William Plane Pycraft (1928).
* ^ "African man", used by T. F. Dreyer (1935) for the Florisbad
Skull he found in 1932 (also
Homo florisbadensis or
Homo helmei). Also
the genus suggested for a number of archaic human skulls found at Lake
Eyasi by Weinert (1938). Leaky, Journal of the East Africa Natural
History Society' (1942), p. 43.
* ^ "remote man"; from Telanthropus capensis (Broom and Robinson
1949), see (1961), p. 487.
* ^ from Atlanthropus mauritanicus, name given to the species of
fossils (three lower jaw bones and a parietal bone of a skull)
discovered in 1954 to 1955 by
Camille Arambourg in
Algeria. Arambourg, C. (1955). "A recent discovery in human
paleontology: Atlanthropus of ternifine (Algeria)". American Journal
of Physical Anthropology. 13 (2): 191–201. doi
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* ^ J. E. Gray, "An outline of an attempt at the disposition of
Mammalia into Tribes and Families, with a list of genera apparently
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lineage" . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (13):
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* ^ In 2010, evidence was presented that seems to attribute the use
of stone tools to
Australopithecus afarensis, close to a million years
before the first appearance of Homo. McPherron, S. P.; Alemseged, Z.;
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Here we report stone-tool-inflicted marks on bones found during recent
survey work in Dikika, Ethiopia unambiguous stone-tool cut marks for
flesh removal to between 3.42 and 3.24
Myr ago Our discovery
extends by approximately 800,000 years the antiquity of stone tools
and of stone-tool-assisted consumption of ungulates by hominins;
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Australopithecus (including Paranthropus),
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recognized, making an anagenetic relationship with H. erectus
unlikely. The discovery of a particularly small calvaria of
H. erectus indicates that this taxon overlapped in size with
H. habilis, and may have shown marked sexual dimorphism. The new
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independently of overall cranial size, and suggest that these two
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for almost half a million years." Spoor, F; Leakey, M.G; Gathogo, P.N;
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habilis fossils are dated to between 2.1 and 1.5 million years ago.
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Homo erectus. Wilford,
John Noble (August 9, 2007). "Fossils in
Kenya Challenge Linear
The New York Times
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* DiMaggio, Erin N.; Campisano, Christopher J.; Rowan, John; et al.
(March 20, 2015). "Late
Pliocene fossiliferous sedimentary record and
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Homo from Afar, Ethiopia". Science
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Science . 347 (6228): 1355–1359. ISSN 0036-8075 . PMID 25739409 .
doi :10.1126/science.aaa1415 .
Hominins with "proto-Homo" traits may
have lived as early as 2.8 million years ago, as suggested by a fossil
jawbone classified as transitional between
Australopithecus and Homo
discovered in 2015.
* ^ Haviland, William A.; Walrath, Dana; Prins, Harald E. L. ;
McBride, Bunny (2007). Evolution and Prehistory: The
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978-0-495-38190-7 . H. erectus may have appeared some 2 million years
ago. Fossils dated to as much as 1.8 million years ago have been found
both in Africa and in Southeast Asia, and the oldest fossils by a
narrow margin (1.85 to 1.77 million years ago) were found in the
Caucasus, so that it is unclear whether H. erectus emerged in Africa
and migrated to Eurasia, or if, conversely, it evolved in
migrated back to Africa.
* Ferring, R.; Oms, O.; Agusti, J.; Berna, F.; Nioradze, M.; Shelia,
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"Earliest human occupations at
Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to
1.85-1.78 Ma" . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108
(26): 10432. PMC 3127884 . PMID 21646521 . doi
* "New discovery suggests
Homo erectus originated from Asia". Daily
News and Analysis . Mumbai, India: Diligent Media Corporation Ltd.
Asian News International . June 8, 2011. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
* Frazier, Kendrick (November–December 2006). "Leakey Fights
Church Campaign to Downgrade
Human Fossils". Skeptical
Inquirer . Amherst, NY:
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry . 30 (6). ISSN
0194-6730 . Retrieved 2015-05-04.
* ^ Now also included in H. erectus are
Peking Man (formerly
Sinanthropus pekinensis) and
Java Man (formerly Pithecanthropus
erectus). H. erectus is now grouped into various subspecies, including
Homo erectus erectus ,
Homo erectus yuanmouensis ,
Homo erectus nankinensis ,
Homo erectus pekinensis ,
Homo erectus palaeojavanicus ,
Homo erectus soloensis ,
Homo erectus georgicus . The distinction from
descendant species such as
Homo ergaster ,
Homo floresiensis , Homo
Homo heidelbergensis and indeed
Homo sapiens is not
* ^ Curnoe, Darren (June 2010). "A review of early
Homo in southern
Africa focusing on cranial, mandibular and dental remains, with the
description of a new species (
Homo gautengensis sp. nov.)". HOMO -
Journal of Comparative
Human Biology. Amsterdam, the Netherlands:
Elsevier . 61 (3): 151–177. ISSN 0018-442X . PMID 20466364 . doi
:10.1016/j.jchb.2010.04.002 . A species proposed in 2010 based on the
fossil remains of three individuals dated between 1.9 and 0.6 million
years ago. The same fossils were also classified as H. habilis, H.
Australopithecus by other anthropologists.
* ^ Hazarika, Manjil (2007). "
Homo erectus/ergaster and Out of
Africa: Recent Developments in Paleoanthropology and Prehistoric
Archaeology" (PDF). EAA Summer School eBook. 1. European
Anthropological Association. pp. 35–41. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
"Intensive Course in Biological Anthrpology, 1st Summer School of the
European Anthropological Association, 16–30 June, 2007, Prague,
* ^ The type fossil is
Mauer 1 , dated to ca. 0.6 million years
ago. The transition from
H. heidelbergensis to
H. neanderthalensis at
about 0.35 to 0.25 million years ago is largely conventional. Relevant
examples are fossils found at Bilzingsleben (also classified as Homo
* ^ Bischoff, James L.; Shamp, Donald D.; Aramburu, Arantza; et al.
(March 2003). "The Sima de los Huesos Hominids Date to Beyond U/Th
Equilibrium (>350 kyr) and Perhaps to 400–500 kyr: New Radiometric
Journal of Archaeological Science . Amsterdam, the
Netherlands: Elsevier. 30 (3): 275–280. ISSN 0305-4403 . doi
:10.1006/jasc.2002.0834 . The first humans with "proto-Neanderthal
traits" lived in
Eurasia as early as 0.6 to 0.35 million years ago
(classified as H. heidelbergensis, also called a chronospecies because
it represents a chronological grouping rather than being based on
clear morphological distinctions from either H. erectus or H.
neanderthalensis), with the first "true Neanderthals" appearing
between 0.25 and 0.2 million years ago.
* Papagianni, Dmitra; Morse, Michael A. (2013). The Neanderthals
Rediscovered: How Modern Science is Rewriting Their Story. New York:
Thames & Hudson . ISBN 978-0-500-05177-1 .
* ^ Chang, Chun-Hsiang; Kaifu, Yousuke; Takai, Masanaru; Kono,
Reiko T.; Grün, Rainer; Matsu’ura, Shuji; Kinsley, Les; Lin,
Liang-Kong (2015). "The first archaic
Homo from Taiwan". Nature
Communications . 6: 6037. PMC 4316746 . PMID 25625212 . doi
* ^ Zimmer, Carl (7 June 2017). "Oldest Fossils of
Found in Morocco, Altering History of Our Species".
New York Times
New York Times .
Retrieved 7 June 2017.
* ^ Callaway, Ewan (7 June 2017). "Oldest
Homo sapiens fossil claim
rewrites our species\' history".
Nature (journal) . doi
:10.1038/nature.2017.22114 . Retrieved 7 June 2017.
* Serre; Langaney, André; Chech, Mario; Teschler-Nicola, Maria;
Paunovic, Maja; Mennecier, Philippe; Hofreiter, Michael; Possnert,
Göran; Pääbo, Svante; et al. (2004). "No evidence of Neandertal
DNA contribution to early modern humans" . PLoS Biology. 2 (3):
313–7. PMC 368159 . PMID 15024415 . doi
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* Exploring the Hominid Fossil Record (Center for the Advanced Study