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Year 6 - Evolution: Human Evolution

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Lucy's Story


Lucy
(Image source: Arizona State University)

“Lucy,” was one of the most complete skeletons of Australopithecus afarensis found in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 1974. Click on the link below to discover her story:

Human Evolution

(Video Source: National Geographic)

Human evolution is the lengthy process of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors. Scientific evidence shows that the physical and behavioral traits shared by all people originated from apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of approximately six million years. 

 


(Image source: Britannica Kids)

Modern humans evolved in stages from a series of ancestors, including several earlier forms of humans. The bodies of these ancestors changed over time. In general, their brains became larger. The jaws and teeth became smaller. Human ancestors also began walking upright on two feet and using tools. As they did, the shape of their legs, feet, hands, and other body parts changed. Visit the links below to find out more:

Fossil Evidence of Human Evolution

(Video source: American Museum of Natural History)

Scientists have a fairly small amount of evidence to use in studying human origins. Most of this evidence comes from fossils, or the remains of living things preserved in the ground. The study of fossils is called paleontology. In Africa, Asia, and Europe scientists have found the bones and tools of human ancestors who lived millions of years ago. And scientists continue to find new clues as to how humans developed.

Characteristics That Makes Us Human

(Image source: Smithsonian National Museum of History)

Part of what it means to be human is how we became human. Over a long period of time, as early humans adapted to a changing world, they evolved certain characteristics that help define our species today. Visit the link below to find out more about those characteristics:

Interactive Documentary - Becoming Human

Becoming Human is an interactive documentary experience that tells the story of human evolution with your guide, Donald Johanson, an American paleoanthropologist best known for his discovery of “Lucy,” one of the most complete skeletons of Australopithecus afarensis known, in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 1974.