Six Million Years of Hominin Evolution in Four Minutes


From the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, this video shows some of the major hominin fossils discovered so far. It’ seems to have been recorded by a tourist, so the quality isn’t the best. However, it’s really well done, and the nice part is that it nicely illustrates these species’ geographic and temporal distributions, which can be hard to find elsewhere. 

5 thoughts on “Six Million Years of Hominin Evolution in Four Minutes

  1. Very slick and well done. I’m sure the Museum has a regular copy on sale or on the internet somewhere. The chronology bar is nice, but of course we have only the Out of Africa point of view and there are others, but these are far too complex to present lineally (simplistically?). It reminds me a bit of the series of maps at my school which showed the ‘natural’ growth of the British Empire but ignored things like Surabaya and even the Roman, Mogul and Otterman Empires. (And of course the series of views stopped at the point where most of the world was in Empire Red.)

  2. super cool, Patrick, thanks. I feel like that sort of visual really makes me sort of feel it, H. G. Wells’ ‘deep well of the past.’

    At first I thought that when the next wave started, when Heidelberg Man never makes it to Asia and Asia stays blue until it finally turns red with us – that Homo Erectus lived in Asia the whole time, until we supplanted them, as we figure we did with the Neanderthal, is that right? Or had Erectus (Latin porn name?) died out all over when Africa turns green with Heidelberg, and Asia was human-free? I suppose I could look it up . . . ?

    • The general consensus is that as modern humans moved into new territory they supplanted the previous occupants. Some of that may have been violent, some by out-competing them, and some by interbreeding with them and just swallowing them up and diluting their genetic representation in subsequent generations.

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