Hominid phylogeny, Biology

In the above sections we discussed in detail the fossil record of primates in general and more particularly those of apes and the humans. Despite the fact that in recent years a number of hominid fossils have been discovered, the fossil history of humans is not complete and the evidence is only fragmentary. Therefore, it has become necessary that based on the available evidence we need to synthesise an acceptable path of human ancestory. The hominid family had its origin from the dryopithecine ancestors. The fossil record suggests that genus Proconsul and Ramapithecus could be the near point of the origin of the family Hominidae. There is a cbnsehsus among the paleontologists and anthropologists at one time that Ramapithecus was the earliest recognisable horninid. But now evidence is available that Ramapithecus was more close to orangutans than to hominids. Late miocene and early plioene period were short of primate fossils. It is only during the late pliocene period the first

remarkable hominid Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) appeared. The australopithecines were a separate side branch of the hominid evolution and have no survivors in the modern world. This means the genus Homo derives its ancestory from an australopithecine species whose fossils could not be found. This species probably gave rise to Homo habilis, and subsequently through Homo erectus to Homo sapiens.

There is also another viewpoint. The A. afarensis led to A. africanus which divided into two lineages: 1) to Australopithecus robustus and A. boisei which represented the termination of the australopithecine lineage. 2) the more progressive branch gave rise to Homo habilis to H. erectus and finally $0 H. sapiens.

Posted Date: 4/5/2013 3:35:09 AM | Location : United States

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