Convoluted human evolution; confusing species (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 14:58 (1780 days ago) @ David Turell

It is difficult to sort out a straight line of human evolution. Not many fossils and lots of variation:

"Recently released research on human evolution has revealed that species of early human ancestors had significant differences in facial features. Now, scientists have found that these early human species also differed throughout other parts of their skeletons and had distinct body forms. The research team found 1.9 million-year-old pelvis and femur fossils of an early human ancestor in Kenya, revealing greater diversity in the human family tree than scientists previously thought.

"Three early species belonging to the genus Homo have been identified prior to modern humans, or Homo sapiens. Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis were the earliest versions, followed by Homo erectus and then Homo sapiens. Because the oldest erectus fossils that have been found are only 1.8 million years old, and have different bone structure than the new fossil, Ward and her research team conclude that the fossils they have discovered are either rudolfensis or habilis. Ward says these fossils show a diversity in the physical structures of human ancestors that has not been seen before."

With just a few fossils and seeing the diversity in humans today, it may just be individual variation within species.

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