Essay on The History of Human Evolution

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The History of Human Evolution

By definition, human evolution is the development, both biological and cultural, of humans. Human ideologies of how the evolution of man came to be is determined by cultural beliefs that have been adopted by societies going back as far as the Upper Paleolithic era, some 40,000 years ago. Through the study of paleoanthropology, we have come to determine that a human is any member belonging to the species of Homo Sapiens. Paleoanthropologists, while studying the evolution of humans, identify and explain evolutionary changes that occur throughout time that aid in the development of the human species. It will be through the examination of human physical traits, human origins from pre-humans to modern
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Modern humans have a “braincase volume of between 79.3 and 91.5 cubic inches”.(Gallagher) Throughout the development of humans, one can notice that the brain has more than tripled in size. This augmentation may be related to behavioral patterns of the hominids with an increase in number and sophistication of stone tools and other artifacts. The art of tool making along with other learnt skills made it possible for hominids to heighten their ability to live in a range of different environments. “The earliest hominine fossils show evidence of marked differences in body size, which may reflect a pattern of the different sexes in our early ancestors”.(Gallagher) Females tended to be smaller, weighing in at about 70 lbs and measuring 3 to 4 feet tall, while men were on average 5ft tall and weighing 150lbs. This drastic size difference between genders decreased through time, sometime after a million years ago. “The third major trend in hominine development is the gradual decrease in the size of the face and teeth.”(Microsoft Encarta) Unlike the apes (from whom we derived) that were characterized by large, tusk-like canine teeth, the earliest hominine remains were smaller in size and had canines that projected slightly. Also we can see a reduction in the size of the face and jaws. “In early hominines, the face was large and positioned in front of the braincase. As the teeth became smaller and the brain expanded,

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