Evolution of early Homo: An integrated biological perspective

  title={Evolution of early Homo: An integrated biological perspective},
  author={Susan C. Ant{\'o}n and Richard Potts and Leslie C. Aiello},
Background Until recently, the evolution of the genus Homo has been interpreted in the context of the onset of African aridity and the expansion of open grasslands. Homo erectus was considered to be a bona fide member of the genus Homo, but opinions diverged on the generic status of earlier, more fragmentary fossils traditionally attributed to Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis. Arguments about generic status of these taxa rested on inferred similarities and differences in adaptive plateau… 
Homo floresiensis-like fossils from the early Middle Pleistocene of Flores.
This work describes hominin fossils excavated in 2014 from an early Middle Pleistocene site (Mata Menge) in the So'a Basin of central Flores and suggests that hominins on Flores had acquired extremely small body size and other morphological traits specific to H. floresiensis at an unexpectedly early time.
The uncertain case for human-driven extinctions prior to Homo sapiens
Abstract A growing body of literature proposes that our ancestors contributed to large mammal extinctions in Africa long before the appearance of Homo sapiens, with some arguing that premodern
Morphological variation in Homo erectus and the origins of developmental plasticity
The metric variation in 35 human and non-human primate ‘populations’ from known environmental contexts and 14 time- and space-restricted paleodemes of H. erectus and other fossil Homo are considered, finding more similar patterns of variation than expected, with plasticity evident, but in differing patterns by sex across populations.
The reversal of human phylogeny: Homo left Africa as erectus, came back as sapiens sapiens
The present study showed that Eurasia was not the receiver but the donor in Hss evolution, and the findings that Homo left Africa as erectus and returned as sapiens sapiens constitute a change in the understanding of Hs evolution to one that conforms to the extensive Eurasian record of Hss palaeontology and archaeology.
Unique Dental Morphology of Homo floresiensis and Its Evolutionary Implications
It is reported here that the dental remains from multiple individuals indicate that H. floresiensis had primitive canine-premolar and advanced molar morphologies, a combination of dental traits unknown in any other hominin species.
Reconstructed Homo habilis type OH 7 suggests deep-rooted species diversity in early Homo
A virtual reconstruction of the OH 7 mandible is presented, finding that this shape variability is not consistent with a single species of early Homo, and raising questions about the H. habilis hypodigm.
Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa
Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized
A Major Change in Rate of Climate Niche Envelope Evolution during Hominid History
Multi-level human evolution: ecological patterns in hominin phylogeny.
  • A. Parravicini, T. Pievani
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Journal of anthropological sciences = Rivista di antropologia : JASS
  • 2016
The multilevel approach to evolution proposed by paleontologist Niles Eldredge is adopted here as interpretative tool, and has yielded a larger picture of human evolution that integrates different levels of evolutionary change, from local adaptations in limited ecological niches to dispersal phenotypes able to colonize an unprecedented range of ecosystems.


Origins and Evolution of Genus Homo
The extant data suggest that the origin and evolution of Homo was characterized by a positive feedback loop that drove life history evolution and many aspects of the human life history package, including reduced dimorphism, likely occured later in evolution.
Early Homo
  • S. Antón
  • Environmental Science
    Current Anthropology
  • 2012
The fossil evidence from ∼2.5 to 1.5 Ma forms the baseline for understanding the origin of the genus and early H. erectus is less “modern” and its regional variation in size more substantial than previously allowed.
Implications of new early Homo fossils from Ileret, east of Lake Turkana, Kenya
Two new cranial fossils from the Koobi Fora Formation, east of Lake Turkana in Kenya, are described that have bearing on the relationship between species of early Homo and confirm the distinctiveness of H.’shabilis and H.erectus, independently of overall cranial size, and suggest that these two early taxa were living broadly sympatrically in the same lake basin for almost half a million years.
Early Dispersals of Homo from Africa
▪ Abstract The worldwide distribution of our species, Homo sapiens, has its roots in the early Pleistocene epoch. However, evidence has been sufficient only in the past decade to overcome the
Five years of Homo floresiensis.
  • L. Aiello
  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2010
The evidence supports the hypothesis that Homo floresiensis is a late-surviving species of early Homo with its closest morphological affinities to early African pre-erectus/ergaster hominins, and requires fundamental paradigm changes in the understanding of human evolution.
Remains of Homo erectus from Bouri, Middle Awash, Ethiopia
Daka's resemblance to Asian counterparts indicates that the early African and Eurasian fossil hominids represent demes of a widespread palaeospecies and Daka's anatomical intermediacy between earlier and later African fossils provides evidence of evolutionary change.
Human Biology and the Origins of Homo
This special issue surveys what is now known about the fossil evidence and the environmental context of early Homo and sets the stage for integrated, multidisciplinary studies to provide a framework for interpretation of the hard evidence.
The First Humans – Origin and Early Evolution of the Genus Homo
The first humans: a summary perspective on the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo is presented.
Early hominid evolution and ecological change through the African Plio-Pleistocene.
  • K. Reed
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Journal of human evolution
  • 1997
The morphological adaptations of mammalian assemblages found with early hominids are used to reconstruct the habitat based on each species' ecological adaptations, thus minimizing problems introduced by taxonomy and taphonomy.