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.

Hominid Skulls from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

From left to right: Homo habilis, Homo Sapiens, Homo floresiensis, Homo Erectus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis

Exposing Religion Blog, The Complete Human Evolution Evidence Database

8 Incredible Facts You May Not Know About Human Evolution - Early human beings left Africa over 1 million years ago

The Human Population Explosion 40,000 Years Ago -- New Theories on Why DNA sequencing of 36 complete Y chromosomes has uncovered a previously unknown population explosion that occurred 40-50 thousand years ago, between the first expansion of modern humans out of Africa 60-70 thousand years ago & the Neolithic expansions of people in several parts of the world starting 10 thousand years ago. Click through for the article in its entirety.

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". http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7410/full/nature11322.html

Homo heidelbergensis... "was first early human species to live in colder climates, their ­­­short, wide bodies were likely an adaptation to conserving heat. It lived at the time of the oldest definite control of fire and use of wooden spears, and it was the first early human species to routinely hunt large animals. This early human also broke new ground; it was the first species to build shelters—creating simple dwellings out of wood and rock."

From the Smithsonian: Sahelanthropus tchadensis is one of the oldest known species on the human family tree and lived between 7 and 6 million years ago in West-Central Africa (Chad). Walking upright may have helped this species survive in diverse habitats—including forests and grasslands.

Fossil Bee, about 35 million years ago

Homo erectus is the earliest hominid known outside of Africa, and was perhaps also the first to use fire.

Sex between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals good for survival. When the "modern" humans left Africa they were exposed to new illnesses their Immune system couldn't fight off. On their way north they met and mated with Neanderthal humans. The Neanderthals had existed for 200 000 years and their immune system was adapted to the local circumstances. The "modern" humans received new genes that helped them survive in the new environment.

Surprise! 20% of Neanderthal Genome Lives On in Modern Humans, Scientists Find—Two new studies suggest that the contribution from Neanderthal DNA was vital

Neanderthals Were as Smart as Early Humans. Anthropologists have found that complex interbreeding and assimilation may have been responsible for their disappearance about 40,000 years ago, not the superiority of their humans. “Although many still search for a simple explanation and like to attribute the Neanderthal demise to a single factor, such as cognitive or technological inferiority, archaeology shows that there is no support for such interpretations.”

Homo heidelbergensis (also Homo rhodesiensis) is an extinct species of the genus Homo which lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia from at least 600,000 years ago. It survived until about 200,000 to 250,000 years ago. Its brain was nearly as large as that of a modern Homo sapiens. It is very likely the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens (Africa) and the Neanderthals (Europe), and perhaps also the Denisovans (Central Asia). First discovered near Heidelberg in Germany in 1907.

Paranthropus boisei. an early hominin that lived in East Africa between 2.3 and 1.2 million years ago, mainly ate tiger-nuts – edible bulbous tubers of the sedge Cyperus esculentus

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... http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/297.summary #Science #Human_Evolution

Homo habilis, ( Latin: “able man” or “handy man”) extinct species of human, the most ancient representative of the human genus, Homo. H. habilis inhabited parts of sub-Saharan Africa from perhaps 2 to 1.5 million years ago (mya). In 1959 and 1960 the first fossils were discovered at Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania. This discovery was a turning point in the science of paleoanthropology because the oldest previously known human fossils were Asian specimens of Homo erectus. Many features of ...

first humans on earth - Google Search

Humanity's forgotten return to Africa revealed in DNA. Call it humanity's unexpected U-turn. One of the biggest events in the history of our species is the exodus out of Africa some 65,000 years ago, the start of Homo sapiens' long march across the world. Now a study of southern African genes shows that, unexpectedly, another migration took western Eurasian DNA back to the very southern tip of the continent 3000 years ago.

Alfons and Adrie Kennis I don't believe in the whole "Homo Erectus' or evolution per se (exception of micro-evolution), but the animals fascinated me.