Saturday, June 23, 2018

The First of Our Kind: A 2.8-million-year-old jaw is the oldest fossil from our genus.

“A piece of fossilized jaw discovered at Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia, pushes back the date when the first members of the human genus evolved by 400,000 years. The research, published in March in Science, shows that the jaw is about 2.8 million years old. It’s one of the few hominin fossils that date to between 2.5 million and 3 million years ago, when a small-brained australopith was evolving into the larger-brained Homo genus.”

“During this period, a changing climate forced our ancestors to move out of the forests and into more open territory. They had to adapt to new foods and new predators, which may have spurred the development of our distinctly larger brains. Animal fossils found near the jaw fragment suggest the individual lived in a savannah environment.
“It confirms this idea that our lineage, Homo, is a response to climate change,” says Brian Villmoare, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “If the climate had not changed at 3 million years ago, Australopithecus could very contentedly still be existing.”


Last of Our Kind?
Perhaps “Homo sapiens” at the current level of development is not sufficiently developed enough to climb the next rung up the evolutionary ladder in a proactive manner. If mankind does not cease to overuse and abuse the Earth’s biosphere, then the demise of civilization is likely. The Sixth Great Extinction that has already begun may eventually include us. What rises from the ashes may or may not be better. Thus, it behooves us to be proactive in the measures we take to thwart anthropogenic climate change — instead of reactive measures that are always competitive and destructive.

Note: It is not population growth (per se) that is driving greenhouse gas emissions, it is money.
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