Fossil Record of Human Origins

Session Date: 
Sep 30, 2020

This lecture focuses on the fossil record with an emphasis on ecological changes and associated dietary changes facilitating the appearance of anatomically modern humans (AMHs). We begin by tracing the evolution of the earliest primate-like mammals from more than 50 million years ago (mya), to the earliest monkey/ape-like primates about 29 mya, to apes and ape-like members of our own lineage between 23-5 mya. We end with members of our lineage in an unusually bushy portion of our family tree between around 5 and 1 mya, leading to the subsequent appearance of AMHs around 180,000 years ago.

File 2020_09_30_Schoeninger.mp4545.01 MB