Evolution of Man


The most renowned species on the planet, Homo sapiens, is the consequence of almost 7 million years of civilization. Human evolution has been traced via fossil records as well as morphological, physiological, and embryological research.

Man is a member of the order Primates' Hominidae family. Apes that look like humans belong to the very same order. Their forefathers and mothers developed through time, becoming increasingly distinct.

The lower jaw is less projecting and the face is flatter. Long hair grows continuously on the head, but it is sparse and short on the body. Long legs with a non-opposable big toe and generalised hands with well-developed thumbs. Man is a terrestrial creature who stands tall on two feet. They outperform all other animals due to their unique 'human traits.'

Human History

Our DNA contains information about our evolutionary past. The human genome is the result of all genetic mutations that impacted our forefathers. The origins of modern people have long been a point of contention.

Homo sapiens is a Latin word that means "intelligent man." Although the human species is the sole living species of the genus Homo, our origins have long been a source of controversy. We developed from their most likely recent common ancestor, Homo erectus, which means "upright man" in Latin, in the last 200,000 years on the African continent. It was a human species that existed between 1.9 million and 135,000 years ago and is now extinct.

The 'Out of Africa' concept and the ‘multi-regional' model have both been proposed to explain the development of human beings, namely Homo sapiens. The 'out of Africa' approach is currently the most popular. It is hypothesised that Homo sapiens developed in Africa before migrating around the globe. The 'multi-regional' concept suggests that Homo sapiens evolved in several locations over a lengthy period of time. The mingling of several groups eventually resulted in the current Homo sapiens species.

Earliest Ancestor

Ardipithecus was the earliest ancestor yet unearthed, with remains going back over 4.4 million years. The intricacies of evolutionary history are still up for discussion since the fossil record of many forebears is sketchy. In reality, an evolutionary bush would be a truer parallel than the human evolution tree.

Although many of his contemporaries thought that he did, Charles Darwin never stated that humans originated from apes. Furthermore, experts dismissed the idea of a "missing link" between apes and humans, claiming that humanity developed alongside the giant apes. We do, however, have a common progenitor who lived around 7 million years ago. Furthermore, the occurrence of "nodal fossils" indicates that humans have evolved gradually rather than abruptly, according to evolution.

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Man's Evolution

The first anthropoids, including as Parapithecus, Propliopithecus, and others, were discovered in the Oligocene bed of Egypt, indicated by the remnants of jaws.

The Miocene anthropoid fossils exhibit a great deal of variation, with some having prehuman characteristics. They might have developed into the human line, as well as other lines leading to the giant apes. An anthropoid fossil called Dryopithecus is thought to be near the point of separation.

The evolution process involves a sequence of changes that might lead animals to adapt to their present environment or just become extinct. Human evolution is thought to be the outcome of changes in the genetic composition of people. It does not contribute to the change of a single organism, but rather to the change of a group of organisms of the same species.

Man has gone through various stages in his evolution, which are detailed below:

  • Dryopithecus - Dryopithecus is thought to be the oldest known human ancestor. They have been discovered in Africa, Asia, and Europe. It has long been assumed that man's development began with him. Australopithecus was on the trail of Dryopithecus.

  • Australopithecus - Australopithecus were 1.2 metres tall and could walk erect. They have settled on Africa's continent. They used to have big jaws and humanlike teeth.

  • Homo habilis - Homo habilis stood approximately 5 feet tall and could even use tools. They were thought to be able to communicate.

  • Homo erectus - Homo erectus was thought to be more advanced than other humans. They used to have bigger brains and stood up straight. They were carnivorous and the ones who developed fire. They also gave a powerful speech.

  • Homo sapiens - Modern man are known as Homo sapiens. Home sapiens had honed their ability to reason and use tools. They were omnivores who could also create art. Their brain volume was lowered to 1300 cubic centimetres.

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The Evolution of Humanity

The discovery of oldest ancestors' and races' remains provides insight into human evolution.

The following are the principal forms that have been documented till date:

These hominids' bones (Australopithecus, Zinjanthropus, and others) were discovered in the Mid-Pleistocene or earlier in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1925, and Olduvai Gorge, Tanganyika, in 1959. Several skulls and skeletal pieces have been unearthed.

They have the following attributes:

  • The skulls are smaller than current human skulls.

  • The brain's volume varied from 600 to 700 cubic centimetres.

  • The face was projecting and the brow was taller than in apes.

  • The large brow ridges were noticeable.

  • The occipital condyles were positioned ventrally, and the back of the head was rounded.

  • The jaws were big and the incisors were little.

  • Massive, spatulate canines and large cheek teeth were also present.


Q1. How can evolution account for such sophisticated organisms as humans?

Ans. Evolution does not occur in a linear fashion, especially in complex species like humans. Humans are the result of evolutionary processes that date back over 3.5 billion years to the dawn of life on Earth. We evolved new physical features and behaviours over time, building on those passed down from previous primates, mammals, vertebrates, and the first living species.

Q2. Is it true that humans evolved in a straight line, species after species?

Ans. Human evolution, like that of other animals, did not follow a linear path. Instead, like branches on a shrub, a variety of species separated from common progenitors. Only our species, Homo sapiens, has survived. However, there were numerous periods in the past when many early human species coexisted.

Q3. Since Darwin, what has been learned about evolution?

Ans. Since Darwin's death in 1882, research in a variety of domains has validated and built on his views. Earth is ancient enough for all species found to have evolved, we've discovered. DNA has been found, proving that all species are connected to one another. Furthermore, we have discovered millions of fossils that show how one living form evolved into the other over time.

Q4. What is the mechanism of evolution?

Ans. Living creatures must adapt to their surroundings in order to live. A genetic variant can sometimes offer one member of a species an advantage. That person passes on the advantageous gene to their descendants. More people with the new characteristic survive and pass it on through their families. If a new species emerges with numerous positive qualities throughout time, it will be better able to meet the difficulties of its environment.

Q5. What is the relationship between humans and monkeys?

Ans. Humans and monkeys are primates. Humans, but on the other contrary, are not descended from any existing ape, including monkeys. Humans and chimps have a common primate ancestor. It lived approximately 8 and 6 million years ago. Humans and chimpanzees, on the other hand, evolved in different ways from the same parent. Roughly 25 million years ago, apes and monkeys had a more distant progenitor.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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