This page contains the family tree of all members of the human lineage (hominins) discussed so far on this blog. Clicking on each species will take you to a page which provides general information on that species, as well as a summary of the posts concerning it.
|Last common ancestor with chimps|
|Sahelanthropus tchadensis||Orrorin tugenensis|
|Paranthropus aethopicus||Australopithecus africanus3 – 2.2 million years ago|
|Paranthropus robustus||Paranthropus boisei||Australopithecus sediba|
|Homo habilis 2.3 – 1.4 million years ago||Homo erectus||Homo rudolfensis|
|Homo floresiensis||Homo heidelbergensis|
|Homo neanderthalensis||Archaic Homo sapiens|
General hominin evolution
- During the course of their evolution, hominins lost the air sacs on their vocal tract, which may make their pronunciation clearer.
- Hominins’ large brains evolved to keep track of social relationships and not because their gut shrank in size.
- Duplication of the SRGAP2 gene made brain development faster, allowing big brains to evolve.
- Climate change may have been responsible for the success of the genus Homo and the adaptive radiation of hominins.
- Eating more meat sped up our reproductive cycle.
- The common ancestor of chimps and humans didn’t walk on their knuckles like chimps.
General hominin behaviour
- Food sharing is an important part of hominin behaviour that probably existed before they split from chimps.
- They live in fission-fusion societies so a single population can search a wider area for food.
- Since the first hominin species there has been little between-male competition but still quite a bit of polygyny.
- We may have started to walk bipedally so as to hoard valuable food.