For about a million years, at the beginning of the Ice Age, from about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago, It was a very exciting time to be Hominins.
Hominins are a group of human ancestors that are closely related
to us, chimps, and bonobos.
During this million-year period, various branches of our evolutionary tree flourished All over South and East Africa, And if we want to enlarge the first part of this million years, we will meet a Familiar face.
Or at least a fairly familiar face: the homo habilis face.
“it or he” was just over a meter tall and had a slightly larger brain and smaller teeth their first parents, the Australopithecus, But it still has relatively long arms and a prominent lower side, which are generally considered attributes More basal in the hominin line.
This ancestor may have been making the stone tools!
In fact, Homo habilis means “witty,” and its discoverers have given it that name, they thought he was responsible for many of the tools located near his remains.
However, does this person belong to our species, Homo?
Was he more like us than his former predecessors?
Over the past 50 years or so, the human family tree has really been filled, We explored all kinds of new fossils from our ancestors and parents, such as Australopithecus, Who have the same brain size and the same proportions as the members of Homo habilis.
This has led some researchers to ask whether this Homo Happelies is a member of our kind at all
As more and more fossils are found, our species has become more and more universal, including more members who are looking less like us, Homo sapiens.
This is an important problem to consider.
Because there is an agreement on who belongs to our immediate human family.
like us, Neanderthals, and even the more ancient human beings who travel the world.
They all agreed to be distinct members of this type of Homo.
But behind them, there are many predecessors whom we cannot find a home for.
There is no formal definition of what constitutes a human being, either It means being a member of our race or species, or just being able to walk upright and making tools.
So, getting to know these other humans “those who came before us”, Neanderthals, and our other fellow, we can begin to respond to some wonderful, exciting and challenging questions.
what does it mean to be human in the first place?
When Lewis and Mary Lake’s team discovered the first Homo habilis fossils in the 1960s, they had a difficult choice to take :
Are these remains of Australopithecus?
Or are they really the first known members of this kind, Homo?
Traditionally, determining who belongs to our genus has cut short to which traits are considered the “unique” traits of a human.
And when Leakeys think of Homo habilis, they used that definition of Homo from late 1955, to be a member of our genus, you must have a certain number of properties in common with three well-known Homo members at the time: Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, and Neanderthals.
Leakeys have come to the conclusion that Homo habilis shares three important features with the other members in our genus, it had an upright posture, two legs, and had a handy skill “Making tools”.
Of course, Homo Habilis had these three things, But in the decade after the discovery of Homo habilis, new discoveries of other human ancestors were made, in the same parts of Africa, they also had these traits.
All of these new discoveries were from various Australopithecine, which may not have been part of this type.
The most famous of these is the specimen known as Lucy.
Discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia in the year 1974, it was one of the most complete specimens unlike any other Australopithex Afarensis ever found.
She clearly had a straight posture, such as the presence of oblique femoral bones the interior towards the knee and pelvis which is more human-like.
Then, four years later, a collection of fossil prints was discovered in Tanzania.
Known as the traces of Etoli, probably made by Australopithecus afarensis, Also it shows once again that humans walked on two feet more than a million years ago before even Homo habilis was there.
So if walking upright is not limited to our species, then the definition of our species had to change.
Instead of just physical features, the mind turned into lifestyle use, like A way to determine who belongs to our group.
Lifestyle adaptations are characteristics related to how Human lives his life, such as: What he ate, how he moved, and where he lived.
For example, it was believed that the increase in brain size in members of homo is related to Diet because being able to consume more calories more efficiently has enabled the largest minds.
Some researchers have come up with four specific lifestyle adjustments that they believe can qualify a specie to enter the genus Homo, These modifications included: an adult brain volume greater than 600 cubic centimeters, organ Similar in proportions to us, with long legs compared to our arms. the use of language and the making and use of stone tools.
But still, these things only apply to Homo habilis.
Because one of the most known and complete Homo habilis skulls, a sample or specimen is known as KNM-ER 1813, he had a head capacity of only 510 cubic centimeters.
in the meantime, a large male sample of Australopithecus afarensis was known by proportions of its limb Such are the first members of Homo, the problem is that it lived 3.58 million years ago, long before Homo Habelis appeared on the scene.
Language capacity can be deduced only from the fossil record, although It is extremely difficult to say whether Homo habilis or ancestors that lived millions of years were able to speak.
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