Who we are?
Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving.
The mental capability of human is combined with an erect body carriage that frees the hands for manipulating objects. This has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species.
- Mitochondrial DNA and fossil evidence indicates that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago.
With individuals widespread in every continent except Antarctica, humans are a cosmopolitan species with a population of about 6.8 billion.
Scientifically be belonging to Kingdom Animalia. This Kingdom Animalia is also known as Metazoa. Most of the members of Animalia appeared after the Cambrian Explosion, which happened 542 million years ago.
Our Phylum is Chordata. Our Class is Mammalia. Mammalia possess mammary glands and both males and females are characterized by sweat glands, hair and or fur, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in the brain.
- Neocortex is the outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres, and sometimes we call it Grey matter.
There are two groups of mammals viz. marsupials and placental, which give birth to living babies. However, there is one more group Monotremes which are mammals but lay eggs for example Echidina. In marsupials females carry their young through early infancy for example Kangaroo.
Our order is primates. Order primate includes the lemurs, lorises, galagos and tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans.
Our Family is hominidae which are called Great Apes. This family includes the chimpanzees, gorillas, humans, and orangutans. The Genus of gorillas is Gorilla, a human is Homo and Chimpanzees is Pan.
And finally our species is Homo sapiens.
The first human like appearance was in Australopithecus which lived 4 million years ago. It became extinct around 2 million years ago. The Australopithecus played a very important role in the evolution of modern human.
- The final missing link between Homo and Australopithecus was Australopithecus garhi which was found in Ethiopia in 1997. Australopithecus garhi lived around 2.5-2.6 million years ago.
The first known Homo species is Homo habilis and they lived from approximately 2.3 to 1.4 million years ago at the beginning of the Pleistocene period.
These fossils were found in Tanzania, East Africa, between 1962 and 1964.
All species of the genus Homo are extinct and only Homo sapiens sapiens survives today. Some of the extinct species are Homo erectus,
Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis etc.
- The first human / ape like fossil found in India is Ramapithecus or Shivapithecus. They lived as back as 12.5 million to 8.5 million years ago in the Miocene period. The first fossil was discovered in Nepal, and they were considered to be ancestors of humans. But, now it has been established that they were ancestors of modern orangutans and not the humans.