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On the Origin of Our Species

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On the Origin of Our Species

Gaps in the fossil record have limited our understanding of how Homo sapiens evolved. The discovery in Morocco of the earliest known H. sapiens fossils might revise our ideas about human evolution in Africa.


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How did modern humans came to be?

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Chris Stringer and Julia Galway-Witham, researchers at the Natural History Museum in London, take you back to the very origin of our species, Homo sapiens. They provide a fascinating overview of fossil discoveries at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. Scientists had misdated previous finds. State-of-the-art dating of new finds indicates that Jebel Irhoud fossils are older than previously thought, making them the oldest remains of H. sapiens reported. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone interested in learning how modern humans came to be.


What do scientists know about the origin of Homo sapiens?

When and where H. sapiens evolved from its ancestors remains unclear. Fossils indicate the presence of modern H. sapiens in Africa 200,000 years ago.

However, DNA from fossils and living humans indicate that “our lineage diverged from that of our close relatives, the Eurasian Neanderthals and Denisovans, more than 500,000 years ago.”


About the Authors

Chris Stringer is a merit researcher and Julia Galway-Witham is a research assistant in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London.

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