Human Evolution Chart

picture of Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus afarensis Image: Tim Evanson)



The human evolution chart shown below provides basic information about each of the various known hominids. All the major players of human evolution are listed, together with the approximate dates when they existed and the locations where their fossils have been found. Together, their remains represent the physical evidence for evolution of humans, human ancestors, and their relations (click here to read a history of how the idea originally arose that humans evolved from apes). When available, small pictures of the various hominid skulls are shown (to see a larger view of a skull, click on it). The chart is broken into two separate sub-charts, one for the more ancient hominids, the other for the more recent ones. Click on the tabs to switch between the two.

Human Evolution Chart:

Homo erectus >> ~2.0 - 0.4 Africa, Java, China, Caucasus
homo erectus skull
Homo rudolfensis >> ~2.5 - 1.6* Kenyahomo rudolfensis
Australopithecus sediba >> 1.98 South Africaaustralopithecus sediba skull
Homo georgicus >> ~1.8 Republic of Georgiahomo georgicus skull
Homo ergaster >> ~1.9 - 1.4 Africa (e. and s.)homo ergaster skull
Homo antecessor ~1.2 - 0.8 SpainNo intact skull known
Homo cepranensis >> ~0.9 - 0.8 ItalyNo skull known
Homo heidelbergensis >> ~0.6 - 0.35 Europe homo heidelbergensis skull
Homo neanderthalensis >> ~0.35 - 0.030 Europe, w. Asiahomo neanderthalensis skull
Homo rhodesiensis >> ~0.3 - 0.12 Zambiahomo rhodesiensis skull
Homo floresiensis >> ~0.09 - 0.013 Flores, Indonesiahomo floresiensis skull
Homo sapiens ~0.2 - present Worldwidehomo sapiens skull
* Skull KNM-ER 1470, assigned to H. rudolfensis, is at least 1.9 mllion years old and may date to as early as 2.5 mya.
Are we chimpanzee hybrids? Read more >> Chimpanzee face

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Paleontologist biographies:

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829). Early evolutionary theorist. Long before Darwin, Lamarck proposed that human beings had evolved from apes.

Georges Cuvier (1769-1832). French naturalist and zoologist. Founder of the fields of vertebrate paleontology and comparative anatomy. One of the most prolific authors of scientific literature in the history of biology. Read more >>

William Smith (1769-1839). Established from geological evidence, independently of Cuvier, the fact that evolution has occurred over time. Read more >>

Mary Anning (1799-1847). British paleontologist. Often described as the greatest fossil hunter ever known. Read more >>

Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873). British paleontologist. Namer of the Devonian and Cambrian periods. One of the foremost scientists of his era. Read more >>

Louis Agassiz (1807-1873). Swiss-born American zoologist, geologist, and paleontologist, with a special expertise in ichthyology. Founder and director of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, one of the most famous scientists of his day. Read more >>

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