While traditionally many scientists believed that humans evolved to walk upright from a type of ape which walked on the ground using it's knuckles, a signiicant amount of evidence has emerged to show that we in fact inherited our upright walking trait from a tree dwelling ape.
Full article here.
so when did "we" get up into the trees
About 260 million years ago apparently:
is there some eolvution of man type diagram of the animals getting bigger and more ape like up in the trees
Perhaps this is akin to what you're looking for? (bear in mind its from 1996 so a lot of things are missing, but it gives the general idea) The one called Australopithecus (just underneath humans in the cladogram) would have been about 4 feet tall and spent time both in the trees and walking upright on the ground and lived 3-4 million years ago. Further down the cladogram (and further back in time) we have Aegyptopithecus, (about 35 million years old) who predated apes and modern monkeys, that was the size of your standard monkey.
Have to agree with that article. There is an annoying tendancy for 'tabloid science' these days where every potential transitional fossil is heralded as the next big thing (the Ida media frenzy is a prominent example). Suminia was one of many tree dwelling mammal like reptiles living around that time, many of which could be potential ancestors to modern mammals. In fact, a non tree dwelling creature from the same time could have been the direct ancestor of later tree dwellers. It could even be a case that Suminia and it's close relatives were an evolutionary offshoot.
I thought this was a fairly old idea. I remember it being mooted as a theory back in the 70's. Seems sensible.
thanks i come back and read you answers eventually
I was the same, I always assumed this was the case...obviously I wasn't listening closely enough in my animal systematics lectures way back when
I can tell you all about the evolution of reptiles to birds and the adaptations of birds to flight but human evolution wasn't covered that closely and I may have been hungover the day that was covered
So, how does this fit in with the theory that humans evolved more than once?
Multiregional evolution of humans.
It's an 'alternative hypothesis' but as I say I don't know enough about human evolution to say whether it's bull or not. Richard Leakey couldn't find in favour or against this theory...
Just throwing it out there
Oh that. I'm pretty sure it was discredited along with the neanderthal/modern human hybrid child. Although it's not really my area of expertise. I wouldn't mind hearing Wibbs' views on it.
I would be in favour of a more complex interaction between different humans in the past. The out of africa thing for me has too many holes. It's too pat and a tad too "fashion" driven for me. Genetics is a helluva tool and has told us much, but I think science at the moment is too reliant on it for a source of origins and timescales. Especially given the dearth of fossil remains and viable DNA that can be extracted from same.
Now I do believe humans as a species originated in africa. But I believe that this was in successive waves and later hominids interacted with and reproduced with earlier hominids that they came across in their travels. Specifically Erectus and in the case of Europe Neandertals. I dont favour the pure multiregional hypotheses, where its all about the local. I would think of it broadly as Erectus leaves africa. Moves all over the globe(except the new world). Evolution of hominids continues in Africa, but it also continues in the rest of the world where erectus exists. It seems strange to me that such evolution should be very fast paced in Africa, yet we're to believe that Erectus was pickled in aspic elsewhere even with local adaptation pressures? I don't buy it. Plus as Neandertals in Europe prove erectus did evolve into later forms. Whose to say there's not a similar erectus evolution in asia say. One we've not seen yet. Flores man(another erectus) shows how fluid and local this can be.
Then early not quite sapiens evolves in africa and like an aussie back packer decides to go walkabout. They move into area where erectus and it's descendants live. They get jiggy with it and the populations mix and the earlier gets brought into the later. Other cultural pressures do in the rest of the erectus/neandertals(and some of the moderns too). That makes far more practical sense to me than the current idea, which is erectus stays largely the same for a million years. We come along and completely replace them in those areas with no interaction or gene mix. It just doesn't fit for me.
Even the genetic evidence as outlined in that wiki entry suggests some local continuity of genes, not found in other locales that are significantly older than the 200,000 yr old migration of (nearly) modern humans. That makes no sense if we all stem from that population. We didn't lick those markers off a stone.
Plus in the example I gave on the other thread, http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=61812247&postcount=10 DNA can leave big holes in our understanding of whats going on.
Ah, right. So if we did evolve from a tree-dwelling ape then what we're saying is that this happened before various Homo species (erctus, sapiens etc) began evolving. The tree-dwelling ape was their ancestor.
This would be opposed to multiple lines of tree-dwelling apes giving rise to distinct local Homo sapiens species
Makes more sense I suppose
Oh yea way before. Erectus was fully adapted for upright walking and running. Analysis(of turkana boy) suggests that erectus was very fast as a runner. Faster than modern humans. Make the Usain Bolt lad look like a pensioner. They were a serious apex predator it seems. Would be amazing to go back in time and see one in action. Magnificent looking buggers.
There are so many unusual things happening at times, even with "us" homo sapiens. Around 40,000 yrs ago a lot of things changed, seemingly overnight. We looked the same in the bones, diet was the same(locally) stone tools didn't change much, but things were afoot. We started to live longer for a start. Much longer. Before that point 30 would be old, 40 would be ancient(though at leats one Neandertal was 40). Then we started to live to 60 for no apparent reason. Art and culture exploded. Again we looked the same in the bones and so far nada has been found in the genes to explain it.
Er, surely it was the explosion of art and culture, which resulted in better and more stable food supplies, organised social structures and safer accommodation?
Diet may not have changed in the content very much, but surely organised farming would result in a quantity change?