human evolution

evolutionary process leading up to the appearance of anatomically modern humans

Human evolution is the evolutionary process that led to the emergence of anatomically modern humans, beginning with the evolutionary history of primates—in particular genus Homo—and leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominid family, the great apes. This process involved the gradual development of traits such as human bipedalism and language, as well as interbreeding with other hominins, which indicate that human evolution was not linear but a web.The study of human evolution involves several scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology, paleontology, neurobiology, ethology, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, embryology and genetics. Genetic studies show that primates diverged from other mammals about 85 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period, and the earliest fossils appear in the Paleocene, around 55 million years ago.Within the Hominoidea (apes) superfamily, the Hominidae family diverged from the Hylobatidae (gibbon) family some 15–20 million years ago; African great apes (subfamily Homininae) diverged from orangutans (Ponginae) about 14 million years ago; the Hominini tribe (humans, Australopithecines and other extinct biped genera, and chimpanzees) parted from the Gorillini tribe (gorillas) between 8–9 million years ago; and, in turn, the subtribes Hominina (humans and biped ancestors) and Panina (chimpanzees) separated 4–7 million years ago.
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main subject: human evolution

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A Troublesome Inheritance

book by Nicholas Wade

author: Nicholas Wade

2014

The Faith Instinct

book by Nicholas Wade

author: Nicholas Wade

2009

The Hunting Hypothesis

1976 work of paleoanthropology by Robert Ardrey

author: Robert Ardrey

1976

The Social Contract

1970 paleoanthropology book by Robert Ardrey

author: Robert Ardrey

1970

The Real Eve

popular science book about the evolution of modern humans by British geneticist S. Oppenheimer

author: Stephen Oppenheimer

2003

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