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Homo

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Homo
Fossil range: Pliocene - Recent
Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
Skull of Homo neanderthalensis
Scientific classification

Class

Mammalia

Order

Primates

Family

Hominidae

Subfamily

Homininae

Tribe

Hominini

Subtribe

Hominina

Genus

Homo
Linnaeus, 1758

Species

See text for extinct species.


Hominini

Extant Hominoid family tree

Homo is the genus that includes modern humans and their close relatives. The genus is estimated to be about 2.5 million years old, evolving from Australopithecine ancestors with the appearance of Homo habilis. Appearance of Homo coincides with the first evidence of stone tools (the Oldowan industry), and thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Paleolithic.

All species except Homo sapiens (modern humans) are extinct. Homo neanderthalensis, traditionally considered the last surviving relative, died out 24,000 years ago, while a recent discovery suggests that another species, Homo floresiensis, may have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Given the large number of morphological similarities exhibited, Homo is closely related to several extinct hominin genera, most notably Kenyanthropus, Paranthropus and Australopithecus. As of 2007, no taxon is universally accepted as the origin of the radiation of Homo.

SpeciesEdit

Template:Homo

Species status of Homo rudolfensis, H. ergaster, H. georgicus, H. antecessor, H. cepranensis, H. rhodesiensis and H. floresiensis remains under debate. H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis are closely related to each other and have been considered to be subspecies of H. sapiens, but analysis of mitochondrial DNA from Homo neanderthalensis fossils shows that H. neanderthalensis is genetically closer to chimpanzees than H. sapiens is, thereby suggesting that H. sapiens is the more derived of the two.[1] for more information see Human evolution.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Neanderthal DNA illuminates split with humans". NewScientist.com. 2006-10-11. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10275-neanderthal-dna-illuminates-split-with-humans.html. Retrieved on 2006-12-21. 


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