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Primate Evolutionary Tree Animation

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Presumed evolutionary branchings in the primate family tree. The first primates arose between 85 and 65 million years ago. The common ancestor of apes and hominids branched off from Old World monkeys about 23 million years ago. The hominid lineage, which includes humans and earlier humanlike forms, dates back about 7 million years. This diagram shows some of the best-studied species. How they are related is still being worked out. and dates will be modified as new fossils are discovered. The hominids informally called australopiths had relatively small brains and protruding jaws, but they walked upright and some may have made tools. Homo erectus arose in Africa about 2 million years ago and persisted until about 400.000 years ago. Populations of this species dispersed into the Middle East, Europe, and China. Homo neanderthalensis lived in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia from about 200.000 to 30,000 years ago. DNA evidence suggests Neandertals did not interbreed with modern humans and have no living descendants. Modem humans or Homo sapiens are descended from Homo erectus. So far. the earliest Homo sapiens fossil dates to 160,000 years ago.

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