Everything came from a single cell. What’s that you say? As discoveries about Human Evolution come to light, scientists are realizing some pretty amazing facts about us Homo Sapiens. With that in mind, we thought we’d share 43 cool facts about human evolution that you can go tell a friend, a coworker, or a date. Cause science is cool. And hot.
43. Different Looks
60,000 years ago, as humans moved away from Africa and the Equator, we developed variations in skin tone (lighter skin absorbs more vitamin D), hair texture, and facial features.
42. Big Bones
Early humans had thick bones to deal with harsh climates. Starting 50,000 years ago, our bones became smaller and weaker as we did less physically demanding things. I once broke my wrist petting a dog.
41. Back Pain
Back pain and other problems are common in modern humans as we walk upright over great distances. Add cement sidewalks and improper footwear and we are walking Robaxacet commercials.
40. Is That Meat Ready?
We began cooking food around 790,000 years ago as we started to harness fire, leading to shorter digestive tracts to process foods. This also led to more energy available for tall bodies and large brains. Who wants some cooked sausages? I said cooked!
39. No Brain Drain
Brain size tripled over the course of human evolution. Mostly due to dramatic climate change, and our requirements to process new unknown terrain.
38. Social Network
Our social lives are a fundamental part of evolution. The first instance of us building shelters was 400,000-800,000 years ago, while the first instance of groups exchanging resources was from 130,000 years ago.
37. Cool Tools
The oldest tools are about 2.6 million years old, which included stone flakes, hammer stones and cores.
36. Choke Artists
Humans are also the only mammals that face a significant risk of choking on food. Why? The lowering of our voice box, allowing us to speak, makes it easier to gag on a burger. Personally, I would take not choking over speaking. It would help during wing night.
35. Color Crayons
The oldest known use of color was from 250,000 years ago, where rudimentary crayons were discovered in Zambia.
34. Let There Be Art
17,000 years ago, humans had developed all the tools and skills necessary for ceramics, painting, and sculpting. Parents of early humans still thought they were wasting their time. “Paint no bring wealth. Hunting bring wealth!”
33. Crops and Herds
Modern agriculture began around 50,000 years ago. This is when we began to grow crops and raise cattle. Many argue that this was the foundation of western culture and lead to the development of our modern societies.
32. Brown Eyes
Most of the world had brown eyes until about 10,000-7,000 years ago. Scientist still are unclear about the reasons, but at that time a genetic mutation produced blue eyes. Currently 8% of the population has blue eyes.
31. Tall Tails
Back in our more monkey-like past, we all had tails, and currently all humans have tails in the womb. All we have remaining at birth is the tailbone or coccyx.
30. Not so Wisdom Teeth
Scientists agree that your wisdom teeth are DNA “leftovers” from when humans ate a primarily plant diet. They thought the same thing about the appendix for a long time, but now it’s apparently not useless after all: it’s a “safe house” for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut.
Hiccups may also be a leftover from when we were aquatic species. Basically, the same muscle used to process water in a fish’s gills is the same contraction we feel when the diaphragm goes into spasm.
28. Hands On
Humans differ from primates in that we contract the ring and index finger to the thumb, allowing us to use tools, but more importantly play video games!
27. Pink Eye
The small pink tissue in the corner of the eye is leftover from a third eyelid, similar to that found in a bird or reptile. It protects the eye by moistening it. Does this support the Reptile Illuminati Theory?
26. Ear Wiggle
Can’t wiggle your ears? Don’t worry, you’re amongst 85% of the population. Scientists believe this is leftover from when our early primate ancestors moved their ears in the direction of sound. Whaatttt???!!!!
No one has quite the ear wiggling skills as this guy.
25. Foot Muscle
The plantaris muscle is used by primates to hold and manipulate objects, something humans have no need for. It’s so useless, scientists use the muscle when reconstructing other parts of the body. 9% of humans are born without it.
24. No Hair Care
Humans have less hair than other mammals. Scientist believe we evolved to have less hair to help forage food in shallow water, lose heat, and reduce the instance of parasites. Also it saves on shampoo bills.
23. Lip Twitching
This reaction to getting angry is a leftover from when we used to bare our teeth. A trait that can be seen with dogs and chimpanzees. Pretty effective if you ask me.
22. Humans on Humans
Over a dozen species of early humans have been proven to have existed, some of these living at the same time as each other. Of those, Homo Sapiens are the only ones to remain. And you thought your uncle Mike was different.
21. Big Jaw More Dates
According to biologists, women are attracted to men with a big jaw, which indicates to a partner that they have more testosterone. Men seem to like women with small chins, meaning more estrogen.
20. Small Tooth Big Brain
We have discovered the human brain got bigger as tooth size decreased. We’re pretty certain they happened independently, but either way, we’re the only primates where this occurred.
19. Meat = Brain
Scientists think that the increased consumption of protein might have contributed to increased brain sizes. When measured, protein domains occur in higher quantities in humans when compared to chimps, gorillas and mice. Take that vegetarians!
This subspecies of human lived with us until about 25,000 years ago. They were shorter, much stronger, and had a smaller prefrontal cortex. Scientists are still unsure of what happened to them. Pretty sure they’re working security at most clubs.
17. Neanderthal Culture
Humans think we’re the only ones with a culture, but studies have found that Neanderthals buried their dead with flowers, suggesting some form of religion and, therefore, culture. Scientists are yet to confirm if their was Neanderthal Pop Music.
16. Neanderthal and Humans
Researches have found that some humans have Neanderthal DNA, suggesting that humans probably reproduced at some crossover period.
15. Long Life, Slow Metabolism
Humans live a long time, when compared to other mammals, and this is a result of our slower metabolism. Slow rates of ageing match our slow rate of energy expenditure (We burn calories 50% slower), giving you a reason not to complain after the holiday season.
14. Born Sailors
50,000 years ago, humans built crude boats and used these to sail the Indian Ocean, reaching the continent of Australia. I get seasick from watching people sail.
Humans are the only animals capable of blushing, and evolutionarily it elicited sympathy, which showed other animals that we meant no harm!
12. Climb On
When people feel threatened, they may have an urge to lift their feet or climb to an elevated area. This is leftover from when mammals would climb trees when threatened.
When humans had hair, goosebumps allowed us to look bigger, scaring off any predators. Nowadays we just get them from listening to a rad song.
10. Hobbits Among Us
Scientists discovered a species of early humans in Indonesia that averaged 3 foot 6 inches tall, had tiny brains, and used tools. They lived with pigmy elephants and giant komodo dragons. The scientist who discovered the species was not J.R.R Tolkien.
9. Survival of the Quotiest
Darwin did not come up with the quote “survival of the fittest.” Philosopher Herbert Spencer came up with the phrase.
8. Theory of De-Evolution
One third of Americans reject the Theory of Evolution.
7. Banana Republic
Humans share about 50%-60% of their DNA (genes) with a banana. So stop eating your cousin, you awful, awful bannanibal! Jokes jokes, we also share our DNA with most other living things, including a chicken (60%) and a cow (80%).
6. Hairy Humans
One square inch of human skin has as many or more hair producing follicles as other primates. The difference is ours is lighter, thinner and shorter.
5. Clothing Evolution
The evolution of clothing has influenced the evolution of animals such as the louse, which clings to clothes not to the body. The peppered moth is another example, as it evolved to look black during the Industrial Revolution. That’s probably not a good thing. Just guessing.
4. Grandma’s Caveman Cookies
Scientists have discovered that grandmas actually contributed to human evolution. Grandmas taking care of children allowed mothers to have more kids, contributing to the flourishing of our species. In that case, tell us another tale of the Old Country, Granny!
3. Humans Throw
A team lead by Neil Roach concluded that throwing makes us distinctly human. No other species can throw as fast as us, and this evolutionary trait allowed us to hunt in larger capacities, significantly contributing to other aspects of our evolution, including brain size. So does that mean Javelin is the most evolved sport?
2. Face Symmetry
Humans are biologically driven to be more romantically and sexually attracted to someone who has a more symmetrical face. Symmetry is an evolutionary indicator of good health and strong genes. Is that why I can’t find a spouse? Blasted Symmetry!
1. Who Runs the World? Homo Sapiens
Homo Sapiens—which is all us modern humans—have been around for 200,000 years! That’s a long time. For all you kids out there, that’s just under 2 billion episodes of Game of Thrones.
Thank you evolution
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