Ways of dating fossils

Sahelanthropus tchadensis Orrorin tugenensis Ardipithecus ramidus Australopithecus anamensis Australopithecus afarensis Kenyanthropus platyops Australopithecus africanus Australopithecus garhi Australopithecus sediba Australopithecus aethiopicus Australopithecus robustus Australopithecus boisei Homo habilis Homo georgicus Homo erectus Homo ergaster Homo antecessor Homo heidelbergensis Homo neanderthalensis Homo floresiensis Homo sapiens sapiens Some scientists use a broader definition of Hominidae which includes the great apes, and instead call the group I am discussing "hominins".

For a good discussion of the hominid/hominin terminology issue, read this article by Lee Berger.

Some apes occurring within that time period, such as Ramapithecus, used to be considered as hominids, and possible ancestors of humans.

Later fossil finds indicated that Ramapithecus was more closely related to the orang-utan, and new biochemical evidence indicated that the last common ancestor of hominids and apes occurred between 5 and 10 million years ago, and probably in the lower end of that range (Lewin 1987).

Furthermore, it raises significant questions regarding the pattern of human evolution more generally.

Initially, the researchers who discovered and analyzed the skeletal remains of at least 15 individuals of this previously unknown species, which were found deep in a cave located roughly 50 km (30 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, thought that it was a very early member of the genus .

By comparing fossils of different primate species, scientists can examine how features changed and how primates evolved through time.

, which was first discovered in 2015, significantly alters its position in the overall pattern of human evolution.

A fossil can be studied to determine what kind of organism it represents, how the organism lived, and how it was preserved.2) To familiarize students with the concept of half-life in radioactive decay.3) To have students see that individual runs of statistical processes are less predictable than the average of many runs (or that runs with relatively small numbers involved are less dependable than runs with many numbers).Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.Although the hominid fossil record is far from complete, and the evidence is often fragmentary, there is enough to give a good outline of the evolutionary history of humans.

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