How Long Have Humans Existed (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 200,000 to 300,000 Years Ago

Homo sapiens are the first modern humans to evolve from their early hominid ancestors between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago. They adapted the capacity to speak or form a language about 50,000 years ago. The first modern humans started migrating out of Africa starting approximately 70 to 100 thousand years ago.

Humans are the only recognized species to have fortunately populated, adapted to, and significantly developed in a wide variation of landscapes and regions all across the world, producing intense historical and environmental influences.

How Long Have Humans Existed?

SpeciesTime Stamp of Existence
Homo habilis2.3 to 1.65 Million Years Ago
Homo erectus2.5 to 2 Million Years Ago
Homo heidelbergensis770 to 126 Million Years Ago
Homo sapiens (Humans)0.8 to 0.3 Million Years Ago

Homo sapiens are part of a group called hominids, which were the most initial human-like beings. Considering the anthropological along with archaeological evidence, hominids diverged away from other primates between 2.5 and 4 million years ago in the eastern and southern parts of Africa. There was a range of diversity amongst the hominid species where all of them shared the capacity to walk upright on two legs, also known as the trait of bipedalism.

Scientists have numerous hypotheses about why early hominids underwent evolution. According to the aridity hypothesis, early hominids were adapted to the dry climatic conditions and evolved in the African savannahs.

Hominids proceeded to evolve and develop individual components. The brain capacities developed in them, and about 2.3 million years ago, a hominid known as Homo habilis commenced and used simple tools. Some hominid species, over a million years ago, especially Homo erectus, migrated out of Africa and went to Eurasia. There they worked to make other improvements like controlling fire.

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Once there were many kinds of hominids, but only one survived. Homo sapiens. Extinction is very natural in evolution, and scientists continue to hypothesize the reason behind other hominid species that didn’t survive. Some species were less fortunate at surviving than the others is because of the inability to adapt to the competition for food, changes in climate, and volcanic eruptions, natural disasters, or in other words, survival of the fittest.

Why Would Humans Exist That Long?

Homo sapiens or humans started migrating from the African continent and populating parts of Europe and Asia between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago. They approached the Australian continent in boats someday between 35,000 and 65,000 years ago.

Scientists who study landmasses and climatic conditions know that the Pleistocene Ice Age formed a land bridge that connected Asia and North America over 13,000 years ago. The widely affirmed migration theory states that people crossed this land bridge and ultimately migrated into North and South America.

The development of language about 50,000 years ago enabled people to make plans, solve difficulties, and adapt efficiently. There is no exact reason why the humans first migrated off of the African continent. But this was associated with the deficiency of resources such as food and competition for the same.

Once humans were capable to communicate those concerns and create plans, they could evaluate together whether the requirements in their current home surpassed the risk of leaving to find a new one.

When humans migrated from Africa to regions of colder climates, they sewed clothes out of animal skins and built fires to stay warm, often burned fires continuously through the winter. Complex weapons such as spears, arrows, and bows allowed them to kill large mammals. By varying climates, these hunting methods contributed to the extinction of giant land mammals such as giant kangaroos, mammoths, and mastodons.

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Humans began moving from itinerant lifestyles to fixed homes, using the natural resources available there. Semi-permanent settlements would be the building blocks of authorized communities and the growth of agricultural methods.

Conclusion

The genome has the encryption of our evolutionary antiquity. The human genome appears that way because all the genetic differences that have or might have affected our ancestors have led to the exact origin of modern humans as a very questionable topic. Evidence explains that the first wave of humans who moved out of Africa did not succeed in their journeys. It appeared that they were on the edge of extinction, diminishing to as less as 10,000.

Lastly, current data proposes that the first modern humans evolved from archaic humans, which primarily was in the East of the African continent.

Reference

  1. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rstb.1981.0016
  2. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.an.11.100182.001055?journalCode=anthro
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