What Made Our Human-Like Ancestors so Successful?

1162 Words5 Pages
What made our human-like ancestors so successful? Nowadays, modern technologies make people less dependent on the whims of nature. To some extent humans create their environment themselves. We produce food and build modern houses, which protect us from animals, rain, snow and burning sun. People are on the top of the food pyramid, we are the most successful and flourishing species on the Earth. To understand the history of the evolution of humans and the preconditions of great success of our ancestors we have to track back our genealogical tree. Fossils, DNA analysis and the behavior of modern primates provide scientists with clues and facts which help to reveal the recipe of prosperity. DNA analysis shows that we share a common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos about 7 million years ago. So, what helped humans to evolve and flourish all over the world while chimps and bonobos stay relatively unchanged? Our ancestors were highly adaptable to the fast changes of the climate. They developed bipedalism, the most energy efficient way of movement that was crucial for survival; they invented complex tools, which gave them access to the more diversified food; and finally, big brain, which gave our ancestors possibility to live complex social life, which includes: language, tight social bonds, collective learning, etc. Analyzing animal’s fossils we can define what kind of environment and climate was in this or that territory at a particular period of time. If we find the bones of hippopotamus or zebra in the desert it is obvious that this territory was savanna with lakes and rivers before. In this way scientists defined that 7 million years ago the habitat of our ancestors - Africa was a mosaic of different environmental areas. Tropical forests started to recede, giving place to the grasslands. As the environment in which our ancestors lived was changing, they had to
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