Human Evolution

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Human Evolution

Human evolution is the process by which humans emerged as a distinct species of the hominid family. The evolutionary history of primates can be traced back 65 million years. The earliest known primate-like mammal species, the Plesiadapis, came from North America. Other similar basal primates were widespread in Eurasia and Africa during the tropical conditions of the Paleocene and Eocene. Primates diverged from other mammals about 85 million years ago (mya), in the Late Cretaceous period, with their earliest fossils appearing over 55 mya, during the Paleocene. Primate evolution produced successive clades leading to the ape superfamily, which gave rise to the hominid and the gibbon families; these diverged some 15–20 mya. African and Asian hominids (including orangutans) diverged about 14 mya. Hominins (including the Australopithecine and Panina subtribes) parted from the Gorillini tribe (gorillas) between 8–9 mya; Australopithecine (including the extinct biped ancestors of humans) separated from the Pan genus (containing chimpanzees and bonobos) 4–7 mya.

The Homo genus is evidenced by the appearance of H. habilis over 2 mya, while anatomically modern humans emerged in Africa approximately 300,000 years ago. The study of the origins of humans, also called anthropogeny, anthropogenesis, or anthropogony, involves several scientific disciplines, including physical and evolutionary anthropology, paleontology, and genetics.

The process of human evolution involved the gradual development of traits such as human bipedalism, dexterity, and complex language. It also involved interbreeding with other hominins, indicating that human evolution was not linear but weblike.

The emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominid family was a result of several factors, including the development