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    An early hominid, Homo erectus, depicted in this diorama from the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Human Biology and Evolution, lived nearly 2 million years ago in the eastern Rift Valley of Africa.

    The 300 million year old fossil

    Fossil Bee, about 35 million years ago

    Researchers studying fossils from northern Kenya have identified a new species of human that lived two million years ago. The discoveries suggests that at least three distinct species of humans co-existed in Africa. The research adds to a growing body of evidence that runs counter to the popular perception that there was a linear evolution from early primates to modern humans. "Homo rudolfensis".

    Visualizing Human Biology

    timeline graphic | Hominid Skulls from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

    Alfons and Adrie Kennis

    Homo habilis fossil skull. These predate homo erectus, living between 1.4 to 2.4 million years ago. Note that the teeth are not like modern apes and monkeys but like modern humans instead, giving more evidence (i.e. on top of bipedalism) that this was a human ancestor and not an early ape.

    Electron micrograph image of squid suckers! It's an array of suckers found on the tentacles of a long-finned squid. Each sucker has a width a little smaller than the width of a human hair. Photo by #Jessica_Schiffman

    The increase in hominin cranial capacity over time.

    Human heart - Dr David Barlow has won the prestigious Lennart Nilsson award for his spectacular images of the human body. This image, of one of the chambers of the human heart, shows clearly the detailed structure of muscle and valve. The prize, awarded each year, is given for the best visual representation of science, medicine, biology and technology.

    Skull #5 and the Rewriting of Human Evolution by Robert Lee Hotz, wsj: The discovery of a 1.8 million-year-old skull has offered evidence that humanity's early ancestors emerged from Africa as a single adventurous species, not several species as believed, drastically simplifying the story of human evolution... www.sciencemag.or... #Science #Human_Evolution

    Neanderthals were as Smart as Early Humans, Say Scientists. In a new review of recent studies on Neanderthals, anthropologists have found that complex interbreeding and assimilation may have been responsible for Neanderthal disappearance about 40,000 years ago, not the superiority of their human contemporaries.

    Diorama at the American Museum of Natural History.

    Human Evolution Poster

    Homo ergaster (African Homo erectus): an extinct chronospecies of Homo that lived in eastern and southern Africa during early Pleistocene, between 1.8 and 1.3 million years ago; widely accepted to be the direct ancestor of later hominids

    Old photos from American Museum of Natural History

    Humans are just the latest in a long line of hominid species that have emerged in the past six million years.