Hominization or human evolution is the process through which the humans have evolved into the being that they are today from the ancient times. There are various scientific disciplines including embryology, genetics, primatology, neurobiology, linguistics, ethnology, palaeontology, physical anthropology etc. that helps in shaping up the study of human evolution.
The physical and genetic changes keep on happening within the Homo sapiens species and will always do so in future also. With the evolution of new genes, the changes keep occurring. However, the recent modifications aren’t as drastic as the ones in the past.
The scientific community has found evidence that the humans have evolved from common ape-like ancestors over a span of six million years. The behavioural pattern and the physical traits shared were almost similar.
Over four million years ago, the humans got the ability to walk on two legs i.e. bipedalism. The other traits like language, complex brain, developing tools, cultural diversity, art etc have developed only some time ago.
Humans are said to be the primates who share genetic and physical similarities with apes. Humans are said to have first evolved in Africa since the earliest fossil fuels (ranging from six to two million years ago) proving as evidence for humans come from Africa only.
There have been around 15-20 species of early humans. Majority of the earliest known human species have left no descendants behind. Scientists remain in a fix regarding the determination of the reason behind extinction and evolution of the species.
THE PHYSICAL AND GENETIC CHANGES
Compared to the ancient times, the humans have evolved a lot. Owing to the environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors, the humans have evolved to have lighter and shorter overall body size when compared to the ancestors. The average height of the humans has also decreased in comparison.
More than 40,000 years ago, the average European male was of 183 cm which has slowly reduced to 175 cm today. It had dropped to 165 cm over 600 years ago but increased in the last few hundred years owing to health and diet. The size of the human brain seems to have reduced from 1500cc to 1350 cc today. The human brain is now the smallest when compared to earlier times. This majorly happened due to a reduction in body size.
With the decrease in overall body size, humans evolved to have smaller teeth and jaws. The physical characteristics have been strongly affected by the climatic changes. Humans have evolved according to t the region they live in. For example, the skin colour in humans varies with climatic change. Evolution occurs due to change in genetic material.