Meet your Relatives | AMNH
Explore how DNA and fossil studies reveal our beginnings nearly 7 million years ago. Meet Lucy and Turkana Boy, two of our early relatives. See how we've. Meet Your Relatives Learn how you are like—and different from—a Neanderthal and a chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than any. An important difference between humans and chimpanzees is our mobility. Humans stand and walk on two feet—we are bipedal. An S-shaped backbone and.
In March, I was afforded the opportunity to meet the public as the scientist featured in the Sackler Lab. Here is where the real learning began. The majority of the questions not directly related to what I had presented fell into two categories: Genetic tests and popular media articles proclaiming percentages of Neanderthals in modern humans have excited the public in recent years.
I was eager to discover that I am 2. Unfortunately, the coverage has also led to some confusion about our relationships with Neanderthals.
One father questioned if Neanderthals were just absorbed into modern human groups through inbreeding. I explained that the genetic data suggests relatively infrequent admixture events read more here. The iconic image of a chimpanzee-esq silhouette progressively standing up to be a modern human has become the de facto mascot for human evolutionary studies. Further, when we use words like ancestors and family tree it denotes a linear, anagenetic view of human evolution. In many ways that view is easiest to disseminate to the public as proof of evolution and gradual change over time.
However, the fossil record shows us that there are many side branches that are closely related, but not directly ancestral to modern humans. Paleoanthropologists are excited to find any member of the human family bush. The hominid evolutionary tree tells us that at many times in the past several hominid species lived on Earth simultaneously.
Some survived much longer than theyears Homo sapiens has existed. Yet all hominids went extinct—except our species. Early humans emerged in Africa, then spread in waves throughout that continent and the rest of the world. As populations occupied different environments, modern humans continued to change. This is evident in the diversity of features seen across individuals and populations.
Humans are capable of symbolic thought: We frame the world in abstract, creative terms. Human brain Only modern humans create complex culture.
Our mental capacities enable us to produce increasingly complex tools and a vast range of symbolic expression, such as art, language, and music. Both innate talent as well as skills nurtured in society create the cultural complexity of humans.
Our diversity of cultures is a hallmark of our humanity. For more information, go to education.
Spitzer Hall of Human Origins Educator's Guide
Evolution and Human Diversity All species consist of individuals that differ at some level. In Homo sapiens, population diversity arose as small groups occupied varied environments around the world.
Localized populations changed due to genetic drift and natural selection. For example, some populations eventually showed more susceptibility to certain diseases, or more ability to digest certain foods. The following resources offer additional strategies for teaching and responding to concerns from students or community members: Our population is now abundant, consisting of larger, varied groups that intermingle and overlap.
Since humans reproduce both within and between groups, we constantly mix genetic information. Before you visit, become familiar with the education standards listed below that this exhibition can help you teach.
Additional correlations to New York State and City standards can be found at education.
- Meet the Relatives
- Meet your Relatives
- AMNH Meet the Scientist
They are not just stepping-stones to more knowledge, but the goal of science. Understanding about science and technology; G1: Science as a human endeavor K Characteristics of organisms; C2: Life cycles of organisms; C3: Organisms and their environments; E3: Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans; F2: Characteristics and changes in populations Structure and function in living systems; C2: Reproduction and heredity; C4: Populations and ecosystems; C5: Diversity and adaptations of organisms; F2: Populations, resources, and environments Molecular basis of heredity; C3: Interdependence of organisms; C5: Matter, energy, and organization in living systems; C5: Behavior of organisms; F2: Time, continuity, and change; III: People, places, and environment; IV: Individual development and identity; VIII: Science, technology, and society; IX: Why do these skeletons introduce the exhibition?
Hall of Human Origins - Interactive: Meet the Relatives
Have students compare the skeletal structures of the three species. What biological structures do you recognize in the video above? What can fossils reveal about extinct species? Examine the column of earth layers. What can the position of earth layers reveal about the age of fossils inside them? Comparing Humans and Chimps Students can compare the human, chimp, and mouse chromosomes.
Which two chromosomes are most alike? How are humans and chimps similar? How It Works Have students read the sections on variation and selection.
What mechanisms produce variation? Have students describe variation between individuals in our species. How do the prints compare to your feet and stride? What do your observations suggest about the individuals who left them? Use the sidebar at right to help students read this evolutionary tree, which shows how the hominid family changed over time. What do the orange bars indicate? What does its position on the tree tell you? Which hominids are extinct? Which lived longer than Homo sapiens?
Which lived on Earth at the same time? Find the tree of life across the room. It shows how species are related to one another. Have students use the interactive to explore the tree.
Evolutionary trees represent the history of life. What evidence was used to reconstruct how these hominids might have looked and lived? How are they similar? How has the hominid family changed over time? Do all modern humans look like these people? Have students identify and describe cell structures they know.
Which structures contain DNA? Have students watch the media in this section. Ask them to note the dates associated with each story.
Encourage them to recognize that science is an ongoing process. The human brain is unique.