This is a documentary by Donald C. Johanson, a paleoanthropologist. It discusses about the evidences that prove where humans did originate. The story starts in Africa where our ancestors are believed to have first stood up and eventually continued to evolve and spread out across the globe.
Insights of our ancestors In Johanson’s trip to Hadar Ethiopia in 1973, he made a discovery that firmly placed this geographical location as one of the most significant hominoid fossil sites in the world.
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He discovered bones of a hominid, which they called Lucy. Johanson called her Lucy because when her fossils were being examined, the song “Lucy” of the Beatles was playing on the background. He suspected it to be a female because of the skeleton’s petite stature. This discovery opened a major opportunity for the study of human origin. Kaye Reed, a paleoecologist, said that Hadar Ethiopia was a place full of trees three million years ago so it was a good place for animals to live in, more importantly there was enough food for hominids to eat.
In line with this, the long arms of Lucy helped her to climb trees and get away from these predators and survive. There were also fossils in Saddaman, which were probably Lucy’s species, whose foot prints proved them to be hominids for they are bipedal. The brain size and body size of the fossils also prove that they are hominids. The Homo neanderthalensis are closely related to Homo sapiens, the genus for modern humans.
One paleoanthropologist thinks that Homo sapiens succeeded to survive and Neanderthals went on being extinct without contributing to the modern human gene but another one thinks that modern humans have Neanderthal genes. The culture of man’s ancestors can be seen in Australia where human expression is visible through writings. It was also conducive for aboriginal artists to paint on. Reference: Institute of Human Origin (2008). Becoming Human. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www. becominghuman. org/node/interactive-docume
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