Recent debate and heavy evidence on human origin
Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, c/ Valverde 22, 28004 Madrid, Spain.
The discovery and the study of Australopithecus sediba has brought the debate between its supporters as the only immediate ancestor of Homo erectus excluding H. habilis out of that ancestry as well as any other eventual species of genus Homo, and on the other side the defenders of Homo habilis as the direct ancestor of Homo erectus and following humans. Here the second opinion is supported, with the view that the succession between two species is not instantaneous, the new distinctive traits appearing, generally inherited in several individuals of a single living species, and tribe, coexisting with other individuals bearing primitive traits, until these disappear, even a time after the separation of the groups with different inheritance prevalent. Besides the known sites yielding lithic tools more than 2 Ma old the fossil group of Dmanissi (Rep. Georgia) is a solid proof: one of the earliest tribes of H. erectus/ergaster, leaving Africa to Eurasia near 1.8 Ma, including individuals with prevalent traits of H. habilis. The climate and environment crises between near 2.5-1.8 Ma ago with harsh aridity in Africa may have influenced such complexes process. In South Africa similar genetic changes may have occurred at a near time, but accompanying evidences of direct effect on the origin of H. erectus populations are still missing.
Keywords: Malapa, South Africa, Australopithecus sediba, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo origin.
How to cite: Aguirre, E. 2013. Recent debate and heavy evidence on human origin. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 28 (2), 123-128.
Received 04 November 2012, Accepted 09 March 2013, Published 31 December 2013