ANTH 111

[Australopithecines][Homo species][Notes][References][Bottom]

SAHELANTHROPUS SPECIES (possible human ancestor)

Sahelanthropus tchadensis
a.k.a. "Tourmai"
Djurab Desert, Chad 7.0-6.0 mya Michel Brunet expedition (Ahounta Djimdoumalbaye)

ORRORIN SPECIES (possible human ancestor)

Orrorin tugenensis, a.k.a. "Millennium Man" Tugen Hills, Kenya 6.0 mya Brigitte Senut & Martin Pickford


Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba Middle Awash, Ethiopia 5.8-5.2 mya Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Ardipithecus ramidus ramidus, formerly Australopithecus ramidus

Aramis, Ethiopia

4.4 mya

Tim White, Berhane Asfaw, and Gen Suwa


Kenyanthropus platyops, a.k.a. "Flat-Faced Man of Kenya" Lake Turkana, Kenya 3.5-3.2 mya Meave Leakey expedition

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Australopithecus anamensis

Kanapoi, Kenya

4.2-3.9 mya

Meave Leakey expedition (Peter Nzube)

Australopithecus afarensis

Hadar, Ethiopia

3.9-3.0 mya

Don Johanson

fossils and footprints

Laetoli, Tanzania

3.7 mya

Mary Leakey expedition (Paul Abell)

Australopithecus bahrelghazali Bahr el Ghazal, Chad 3.5-3.0 mya Michel Brunet expedition
Australopithecus africanus
"Taung Child," "Mrs. Ples"

Taung, Sterkfontein, Makapansgat, South Africa

3.0-2.0 mya

Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, J.T. Robinson

Australopithecus garhi

Bouri, Ethiopia

2.5 mya

Y. Haile-Selassie

Australopithecus aethiopicus
"The Black Skull"

West Turkana, Kenya

2.6-2.3 mya

Alan Walker

Australopithecus boisei (Zinjanthropus boisei, a.k.a. "Nutcracker Man")

Olduvai, Tanzania; Lake Turkana, Kenya

2.1-1.1 mya

Mary and Louis Leakey; Richard Leakey

Australopithecus robustus (Paranthropus)

Kromdraai, Swartkrans, South Africa

2.0-1.5 mya

Robert Broom, John Robinson

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Homo habilis  
("handy man")

Olduvai, Tanzania

2.4-1.5 mya

Louis and Mary Leakey

Homo rudolfensis
KMN-ER 1470

Koobi Fora, Kenya 1.8 mya Richard Leakey expedition (Bernard Ngeneo)

Homo erectus

Africa, China, India, Java, Europe

1.8-0.03 mya


Homo georgicus

Dmanisi, Georgia (former USSR) 1.8 mya Davit Lortkipanidze expedition (Dato Zhvania)

Homo ergaster ("work man") KMN-ER 3733

Koobi Fora, Kenya

1.78 mya

Richard Leakey

Pithecanthropus erectus 
(Java Man)

Trinil, Java

1.3-0.03 mya

Eugène Dubois

Homo antecessor

Gran Dolina (Atapuerca), Spain 0.78 mya J.L. Arsuaga, J.M. Bermudez de Castro and E. Carbonell

Homo heidelbergensis
(Maurer jaw)

Mauer, Germany 0.5-0.2  mya Joseph Rosch expedition

Sinanthropus pekinesis (Peking Man)

Zhoukoudian (Choukoutien), China

0.5-0.3 mya

Davidson Black

Homo sapiens idaltu Herto, Ethiopia 160-154 kya Tim White expedition

Homo sapiens neandertalis

Europe, Western Asia (Middle East)

230-30 kya


Homo sapiens sapiens


120 kya


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Some general notes:

HOMINOID is in reference to a fossil that has ape and human characteristics.

HOMINID is in reference to African apes, and humans (both fossil and living).

HOMININE is in reference to humans alone (both fossil and living).


bullet Law of competitive exclusion: when two closely related species compete for the same niche, one will out compete the other. In other words, one will ultimately survive and the other will become extinct.

bullet Australopithecines were contemporaneous with early Homo species (Homo habilis); associated with Oldowan cultural tradition (the earliest identifiable stone tools).

bullet Homo erectus is associated with the Acheulean cultural tradition in Africa, western Europe and Southwest Asia (characterized by large bifacial tools—"hand axes"); in Asia, the Chopper/Chopping Tool cultural tradition is found. Bamboo was possibly used instead of stone in Asia. The "boundary" separating these cultural traditions is known as the Movius Line.

bulletThe distribution of the levallois core (a prepared core, a.k.a. a tortoise core because of its shape) follows the Movius line separating Acheulean from Chopper/Chopping Tools, i.e., it is associated with later Acheulean deposits.  

bullet Levallois points characterize the Middle Palaeolithic. Generally, this time period is associated with the Mousterian Tradition and Neandertals.

Foley, Jim

1997   Hominid Species. <> 04/28/97
Brief summary on each of the major hominines and their characteristics. Timeline also included.

1998   Prominent Hominid Fossils. <> 11/24/00
Includes specific hominine fossils (indicating discoverer and location, date, and identifying specimen number).

2000   Fossil Hominids: The Evidence for Human Evolution. <> 04/10/01
A comprehensive website on fossil hominines.

Haviland, William A.

2003   Anthropology. Tenth Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Course textbook, Chapters 6-10.

Johanson, Donald and Blake Edgar

1996  From Lucy to Language. Johannesburg, SA: University of Witwatersrand Press.  GN 281 J57 1996
Excellent resource--life size photographs of fossil specimens, as well as descriptions, from Ardipithecus ramidus to modern Homo sapiens.  It also includes examples of Palaeolithic technology, as well as a discussion of the central issues in palaeoanthropology.

Kreger, C. David

2003   A Look at Modern Human Origins. <> 08/26/03
Includes an extensive listing of fossil hominids, some non-hominids, and definitions. Excellent links to journals, and other related sites.

Lemonick, Michael D. and Andrea Dorfman

1999   Up from the Apes. Time 154(8): 30-38. Canadian Edition.
Overview of palaeoanthropology; excellent colour timeline of hominines from Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens with dates, location, and comments.

O'Neill, Dennis

1999   Early Hominid Evolution. <>
Early Human Evolution. <>
Evolution of Modern Humans <> 12/12/01
O'Neill has created a number of tutorials specific to introductory physical anthropology.  The three listed here apply directly to the materials mentioned above.  Included in this website are a glossary, practice quizzes, and related internet sites.

Created 11/24/2000; last updated 09/01/2003

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