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    Evolution of Homo Sapiens

    One of the authors is Chris Stringer.


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    Remembering "African Exodus" by Chris Stringer and Robin McKie this current article made the past and the moment a time for reflection. Tracing the clues of origins and trying to make sense after a time.

    Until recently, the oldest known fossils of H. sapiens came from east Africa, dated to 150,000 to 200,000 years ago (5); these specimens display most of the features that we associate with members of our lineage. Many researchers interpreted the emergence of this suite of traits in Africa, before H. sapiens dispersals into Eurasia, as important evidence in favor of RAO. However, recent research suggests that the derived traits of modern humans did not evolve together; rather, a modern-looking face appeared first, with a globular braincase evolving later (11). This pattern is exemplified by the cranial fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, which were recently updated to ∼300,000 years old and which many researchers consider to be the oldest known examples of the H. sapiens lineage (12). The Jebel Irhoud specimens appear to represent an early iteration of the species in which some traits (such as a less-projecting face) were already present, but the typical braincase shape of modern humans had yet to evolve.

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