Human evolution, or anthropogenesis, is the part of biological evolution concerning the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species from other hominins, great apes and placental mammals.
Paleoanthropology is the study the study of human fossils.
Origin of Primates
The Primates are thought to be one of the oldest groups of placental mammals. The closest cousins of primates are thought to be the either the Scandentia or the Dermoptera. Molecular analyses indicate that the bats (Chiroptera) are not closely related.
Ancestors of great apes
It is believed that ancestors of great apes originated in Eurasia. The probable ancestors of great apes, in genus Dryopithecus, migrated from Europe to Africa.
Australopithecus is a genus of hominins. It is thought to include the ancestors of genus Homo. Species include A. afarensis, A. africanus, A. anamensis, A. bahrelghazali, and possibly more.
Homo is the genus that contain modern day human beings Homo sapiens. The earlist known species is Homo habilis. The known members of Homo are:
- Homo habilis
- Homo rudolfensis
- Homo georgicus
- Homo erectus
- Homo ergaster
- Homo heidelbergensis
- Homo neanderthalensis
Not all researchers would recognize all these as independent species, whereas some would recognize more. See Hominini