Homo Sapiens – a new discovery

When did we humans first show up on the planet? Well, some scientists recently announced that we’ve been around on Earth longer than we had thought. Until now, most scientists believed that humans (Homo sapiens) started roaming the planet around 200,000 years ago in East Africa. However, new fossils and stone tools discovered in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, point to Homo sapiens showing up around 300,000 years ago. Not only that, Morocco is in North Africa, so we didn’t all come from just East Africa.

Here is a video about this story.

Going back in time, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans have all evolved from the same ancestors over 8 million years ago. Over time, these species separated. The hominins are the human ancestors and their relatives after they split from the rest of the apes which was around 6 to 7 million years ago. After the split, our ancestors started to learn how to walk on two feet, and by about 4 million years ago, they became 2-legged animals. Around 2.5 million years ago, they figured out how to make simple stone tools. Their bodies started looking more like ours. Their brains grew in size. A major discovery after that was being able to control fire which happened around a million years ago. We humans showed up around 300,000 years ago and are still going strong. Here is an interactive timeline showing human evolution.

Image Credits: http://www.eva.mpg.de for the skull image, phys.org and National Geographic for the image of the human evolution timeline
Sources: http://www.eva.mpg.de, France 24, http://humanorigins.si.edu, National Geographic, http://www.history.com