Which hominid was the first to use tools?
It is not known for sure which hominin species created and used Oldowan tools. Its emergence is often associated with the species Australopithecus garhi and its flourishing with early species of Homo such as H. habilis and H. ergaster.
The altered anatomy of H. erectus, Wrangham wrote, indicates that these beings, like us, were “creatures of flame.” There was one major problem with this hypothesis, however: Proving it would require evidence of controlled fire from at least 1.8 million years ago, when the first H. erectus appeared.
- At a certain point in the combustion reaction, called the ignition point, flames are produced. The flame is the visible portion of the fire. Flames consist primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma.
- Chemical Composition of Fire. Fire is the result of a chemical reaction called combustion. At a certain point in the combustion reaction, called the ignition point, flames are produced. Flames consist primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen.
- Some scholars assume the development of primitive language-like systems (proto-language) as early as Homo habilis, while others place the development of symbolic communication only with Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago) or with Homo heidelbergensis (0.6 million years ago) and the development of language proper with
The oldest unequivocal evidence, found at Israel's Qesem Cave, dates back 300,000 to 400,000 years, associating the earliest control of fire with Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. Now, however, an international team of archaeologists has unearthed what appear to be traces of campfires that flickered 1 million years ago.
- Wheels were invented circa 3,500 B.C., and rapidly spread across the Eastern Hemisphere. Wheels are the archetype of a primitive, caveman-level technology. But in fact, they're so ingenious that it took until 3500 B.C. for someone to invent them.
- Also, no good harness arrangement for horses was invented until about 200 BC, when one was invented in China. Women began to ride horses almost as soon as men, as shown in this Persian carving from 500 BC. Like men, they also fought from horseback as cavalry, at least in Central Asia.
- One of the best-known early Eocene horses was Eohippus angustidens, whose name means "dawn horse." Fossils of this species were first found during the 19th century in North America. For many years, dawn horse was believed to be the first horse, but now fossils of earlier horses have been discovered.
In addition to Ardi, a possible direct ancestor, it is possible here to find hominid fossils from as recently as 160,000 years ago—an early Homo sapiens like us—all the way back to Ardipithecus kadabba, one of the earliest known hominids, who lived almost six million years ago.
- Scientists do not know how life began on Earth. They do know that the early Earth's atmosphere was very different from the atmosphere now. In 1952, Stanley Miller was working with Harold C. Urey designed an experiment to see how complex organic molecules might have formed under the conditions of early Earth.
- Perhaps the world's most famous early human ancestor, the 3.2-million-year-old ape "Lucy" was the first Australopithecus afarensis skeleton ever found, though her remains are only about 40 percent complete (photo of Lucy's bones).
- Carnivorous humans go back a long way. Stone tools for butchering meat, and animal bones with corresponding cut marks on them, first appear in the fossil record about 2.5 million years ago. Some early humans may have started eating meat as a way to survive within their own ecological niche.
Updated: 18th November 2019