Major transitions in human evolution.
Mirazón Lahr, Marta
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences
The Royal Society
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Foley, R., Martin, L., Mirazón Lahr, M., & Stringer, C. (2016). Major transitions in human evolution.. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 371 (1698) https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0229
Evolutionary problems are often considered in terms of 'origins', and research in human evolution seen as a search for human origins. However, evolution, including human evolution, is a process of transitions from one state to another, and so questions are best put in terms of understanding the nature of those transitions. This paper discusses how the contributions to the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution' throw light on the pattern of change in hominin evolution. Four questions are addressed: (1) Is there a major divide between early (australopithecine) and later (Homo) evolution? (2) Does the pattern of change fit a model of short transformations, or gradual evolution? (3) Why is the role of Africa so prominent? (4) How are different aspects of adaptation-genes, phenotypes and behaviour-integrated across the transitions? The importance of developing technologies and approaches and the enduring role of fieldwork are emphasized.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'.
early hominins, evolution of Homo, human evolution, major transitions in human evolution, Adaptation, Biological, Africa, Animals, Behavior, Biological Evolution, Fossils, Genes, Hominidae, Humans, Phenotype
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0229
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/284446