Key Earth Science Links
Cenozoic Era—Hominid evolution
Fossil Hominids; the Evidence for Human Evolution. Jim Foley, Talk.Origins Archive. Provides a comprehensive overview of the study of human evolution. The Hominid Species section provides a short description of known hominid species. Click on the fossil icon next to each species description to see a picture of pertinent fossils. Prominent Hominid Fossils is an alphabetical listing in which to search for information on specific hominid species. The Hominid Timeline is colored to show inferred brain size of hominids through time. There are also sections that describe new paleoanthropological finds and counter various creationists' claims about human evolution.
Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Contains brief easy-to-understand summaries of primate origins, primate anatomy (concentrating on primate skulls), and an interactive human family tree (phylogeny). An online human family tree shows the present understanding of human evolution through time. You can click on a species to get a short description and images of fossils, or click on the red circles to read about controversies concerning the relationships of human ancestors. There are also Quicktime virtual movies of selected skulls.
Becoming Human.Arizona State University. Provides an interesting, easy-to-understand documentary about human evolution that is divided into a series of topics for short discussion: Evidence (how fossils are found and interpreted); Anatomy (comparisons with other primates, etc.); Lineages (evolution, extinction, genetics, etc.); and Culture(tools, fore, language. etc.). Most of the topics have 4-6 slides that offer short explanations. Some are interactive. For example, under the lineage section, you can compare three different scenarios for human evolution. You can click on skulls from the charts and see a short profile of the various hominid species. Images of the fossil skulls can be rotated 360 degrees to illustrate various features. Requires downloading of Macromedia Flash. There is also an accompanying Learning Center and Educational Resources.
Evolution Library. PBS. This resource provides information on hominid/primate bipedalism; brain size, language, and social behavior; primates; and tool use. For each of these categories there are 10 or more resources. Some are on-line short videos, others are web links. In the Humans part of the website, several features are offered concerning hominid evolution. At Origins of Human Kind, different fossils and artifacts of ancient hominids are placed on a time line. Selecting a symbol provides a photograph, brief description, age, date of discovery and location of the material. There is also a hominid family tree diagram and a species gallery of skull fragment images. See also Riddle of the Bones, and the evolution FAQ. Requires Macromedia Flash plug in, and page is designed so it fills only part of the screen so some images are small.
Evolution 101. University of California, Berkeley. Two pages showing a cladogram (branching lineage relationships) of humans and other primates and the lineages of hominids through time. There is a brief explanation of DNA studies of hominids and apes that are used in combination with physical fossils to infer differences and similarities between primates. There are also useful links and short descriptions of radiometric dating and molecular clocks, which are used to determine the ages of hominid ancestors and splits in our ancestry.
Human Evolution. Archeology.Info. At this site, you can select hominids from a timeline or a list to get short reviews with pictures, references, and sometimes links to other material about that hominid. The Hall of Skulls section provides photographs and short descriptions of fossil hominid skulls.
Human Origin/Human Evolution. Discovery Magazine. This site provides links to recent articles in Discovery magazine about various aspects of human evolution based on new scientific discoveries.
Human Evolution. Handprint Media. Provides nice chart of human evolution for seeing the overlap of different lineages, with a timeline and key steps in human evolution (tools, fire, etc.). Also good discussions of the hominid fossil record, hominid brain, hominid tools, and hominid dispersal patterns.