Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Battle of the Hominins
Fossil records give evidence that humans evolved from common ancestors with chimps. Several species of hominins arose from this common ancestor. H. erectus was the first species of hominin to leave Africa. "H. erectus was a highly successful species, not only in population size but in longevity. It was around for one and a half million years, disappearing from the fossil record about 300,000 years ago" (Coyne, 205). Also, it is thought to have left two decendents: H. heidelbergensis, and later H. neanderthalensis (around 230,000 years ago). Then, they disappeared around 28,000 years ago. Their disappearance is associated with the rise of another species: Homo sapiens. There are two theories surrounding the disappearance of the other hominins. Explain both the Multiregional theory and the Out of Africa theory. Also, describe the selective advantages of H. sapiens.