What Makes Us Human?

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Humans are extremely complex and unique beings. We are animals however we often forget our origins and our place in the natural world and consider ourselves superior to nature. Humans are animals but what does it mean to be human? What are the defining characteristics that separate us from other animals? How are we different? Human origins begin with primates, however through evolution we developed unique characteristics such as larger brain sizes, the capacity for language, emotional complexity and habitual bipedalism which separated us from other animals and allowed us to further advance ourselves and survive in the natural world. Additionally, humans have been able to develop a culture, self-awareness, symbolic behavior, and…show more content…
The evolution of the brain in humans allowed for later learned adaptations as well as cultural adaptations such as the capacity for language and tool making. Another physical and biological adaptation that humans possess is long leg length. Our primate ancestors had long arms and short legs which allowed them to climb trees quickly and easily. However, as hominids evolved arms got shorter and legs got longer which allowed for running and long distance walking. As the environment changed in Africa 10-6 million years ago the rain forests became dryer and colder. Africa became a land of woodlands and grasslands with only patches of trees. Therefore, the adaptation of long arms and short legs used for climbing and swinging from tree to tree became maladaptive. The evolution of long legs became important because they allowed early hominids to walk longer distances for food, shelter, and survival. The ability to run was another benefit of having longer legs as well as increasing their height. Long legs made early humans taller, allowing them to see over tall grass and watch for predators. The physical attribute of long legs is another biological adaptation that makes humans human. Having long legs ten million years ago allowed early hominids to better survive in their changing environment which allowed them to progress and advance at a faster rate than the other mammals around them, making humans
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