Hominin Species Essay

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Evolutionary Relationships of Hominin Species

In the study of human evolution, the timeframe that a specific species appeared and lived is a very important aspect to better understand how modern-day humans developed. The oldest of the species in the chart above is Australopithecus afarensis. Australopithecus afarensis appeared roughly 3.85 - 2.95 million years ago; while it more closely resembled an ape, the evolutionary development into modern humans was beginning. Australopithecus afarensis had more humanlike teeth, the canines were smaller than those found in modern apes and the jaw shape was somewhere between the rectangular shape found in apes and the parabolic shape found in humans. Australopithecus afarensis also had pelvis and leg
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Australopithecus sediba existed 1.977 – 1.98 million years ago. The characteristics of this species vary greatly from modern humans, but certain similarities with tooth traits, the pelvis bone, and a broad lower chest resemble those of modern-man. Au. Sediba is a very good candidate for the ancestor to the Homo genus because of many of the similarities found in its skeletal structure. Smaller premolars, molars, as well as facial features were more similar to the Homo genus. The functional changes in the pelvis also strongly support the evolution of upright …show more content…
This type of advancement is demonstrated numerous times throughout the history of early human evolution. One example of mosaic evolution is the changes to the pelvis over time to adapt towards bipedalism. Australopithecus afarensis is a prime example of pelvic changes while maintaining more ape-like qualities. A. afarensis had a shorter curved upper pelvis in comparison to apes. This curvature places the quadriceps closer to the front of the body, allowing easier leverage when pulling the femur forward in an upright posture. A. afarensis also had a wider pelvis, allowing for more stability while moving upright. A. afarensis did, however, keep its longer arms and curved fingers more suited for tree climbing. A. afarensis is a prime of mosaic evolution, the change in pelvis allowed for easy bipedal movement while the species as a whole more resembled that of an

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