Becoming Human by Scientific American

By Scientific American

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The remains are nearly half a million years older than hominid remains previously recognized as the most ancient outside of Africa. They are also smaller and accompanied by more primitive implements than expected. These finds raise the question of what prompted our ancestors to leave their natal land. They are also providing scientists with a rare opportunity to study not just a single representative of early Homo but a population. 8 MYA? Australopithecines Homo habilis Homo erectus Later Homo Stone tools; hominid species unknown MYA = MILLION YEARS AGO elite, the jaw from Dmanisi came away with question marks.

Echoing what has become a common refrain in paleoanthropology, the Dmanisi discoveries in some ways raise more questions than they answer. “It’s nice that everything’s been shaken up,” team member G. ” A shift toward meat eating might yet explain how humans managed to survive outside of Africa, but what prompted them to push into new territories remains unknown. Perhaps they were following herd animals north. Or maybe it was as simple and familiar as a need to know what lay beyond that hill, or river, or tall savanna grass — a case of prehistoric wanderlust.

Blackwell Publishing, 2004. The Earliest Toothless Hominin Skull. David Lordkipanidze, Abesalom Vekua, Reid Ferring et al. in Nature, Vol. 434, pages 717–718; April 7, 2005. SCIENTIFIC A MERIC A N 47 THE LITTLEST HUMAN A spectacular find in Indonesia reveals that a strikingly different hominid shared the earth with our kind in the not so distant past BY KATE WONG SMALL BUT CLEVER, Homo floresiensis 48 hunts the pygmy Stegodon (an elephant relative) and giant rat that roamed the Floresian rain forest 18,000 years ago.

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