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Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

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The primates include Prosimians (Lemurs, tarsiers and related forms) and Anthropoids (Monkeys, apes and Human). They are descended from small rodent like or insectivorous mammals that evolved about 80 million years ago.

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET


Elephant Shrews : -

Tree shrews : -

- Originated in late Mesozoic era in Cretaceous Period.

They were first real primates originated in Palaeocene epoch.

- They were not real primates because


1. In their retina, only rods were present (cones absent).

1. Both rods and cones are present in their retina

2. Nails absent and claws present

2. Claws absent and nails presents on digits.

3. Long snout

3. Shorter snout.

4. V-shaped Jaw.

4. V-shaped jaw.

5. By nature insectivorous.

5. By nature insectivorous

6. Two pairs mammary glands are present.

6. Two pairs mammary- glands are present.


Order primate is divided into 2 sub orders.

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

Monkeys : - 2 types

(1)  Old world monkeys : - Rhesus (Macaca), Baboon (Old world = Africa. Asia)

      (1)  Tail, non prehensile tail.

      (2)  Narrow flat nose with downward direction of nostril.

      (3)  U-shaped Jaw.

      (4)  Dental formula same as human

      (5)  Menstruation cycle is present in female.

(2)  New world monkeys : - spider monkey, marmosets (New world = South & Middle America)

      (1)  Long, prehensile tail

      (2)  Protruding nose with upward direction of nostril

      (3)  U-shaped jaw

      (4)  Dental formula

      (5)  Menstruation cycle absent but estrous cycle is present.

      So, Old world monkeys are more closer to human. 

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

Human - Hominidae Family 

Similarities between man and apes : - 

(1) Tail absent

(2)  Erect posture

(3)  Grasping hands       

(4)  Hairs are present on body

(5)  Larger head, more cranial capacity

(6)  More intelligent than other animals    

(7)  Facial muscles are present for expression of surprise, pleasure.

(8)  Menstruation cycle is present in female of both

(9)  Blood group of AB series are present in both.           

(10) Composition of Hb is same in both. Only one amino acid is different in human and Gorilla. 

(11)  Chromosomal similarities : - 

(i)   No. of chromosomes are approximately same in man and apes.

Apes =  48

Man = 46

(ii)  DNA contents and DNA matching is same in both. This similarity is

100% with Chimpanzee

94% with Gibbon

88% with Rhesus monkey

(iii) Banding pattern of chromosome is same in both.

Comparisons have been made between banding pattern of  chromosomes of man and those of the great apes.

Banding pattern of ch. no. 3, 6 of human and chimpanzee is 100% similar.

Banding techniques enable the identification of individual chromosomes and their parts.

Somatic cells of human contain 46 chromosomes (44 Autosomes and 2-sex chromosomes).

The diploid number of chromosomes in Gorilla, chimpanzee and Oranguttan is 48.

⇒  The total amount of DNA in human diploid cells and that of the great apes are dissimilar.

⇒ Similarity in the fine structural organization of the chromosomes is understood only in terms of a common origin for man and chimpanzee.

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET


Differences : -



1. Serai erect posture

1. Complete erect posture

2. Shorter neck and embedded.

2. Long and erect neck

3. Thick growth of hairs on complete body

3. Only on certain body part

4. Less cranial capacity (650 c.c.)

4. More cranial capacity' (1300-1600 c.c.)

5. Less intelligent

5. More intelligent

6. Forelimbs longer than hind limbs

6. Forelimbs are shorter than hindlimb

7. 'U'shaped jaw

7. Semi circular jaw

8. Chin absent

8. Chin present

9. Thumb is parallel to palm

9. Thumb is opposable

10. Elongated pelvic girdle

10. Broad pelvic girdle

11. Less hair on body

11 More hairs on body

Human evolution :

(1)  Propliopithecus : - Origin & evolution in Oligocene epoch so called as Oligocene apes. Evolution about 30-35 million years ago.

(2)  Aegyptopithecus : - Origin and evolution in late Oligocene and Miocene epoch so called as Miocene apes.

(3) Proconsul : - Its fossils were discovered by Leakey from East Africa near Victoria lake in Kenya from Miocene rocks. It walked on its four legs (considered as common ancestor of man and apes).

(4)  Dryopithecus : - Evolution » 15-20 million years ago.

–    Direct ancestor of modern day apes.

–    They were forest dwellers spending most of the time one the trees.

–    Origin & evolution in Miocene epoch.

–    Semi erect posture

–    Quadra pedal locomotion, forelimbs longer than hind limbs.

–    Thick growth of  hair

–    U shaped jaws

–    Teeth larger and sharper

–   By nature vegetarian, fruit eater

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

–   Origin and evolution in Pliocene epoch.

–   They are considered as ancestors of human but in characteristics same as Dryopithecus, but    spending most of the time on the land.

(8)  Australopithecus :- Prof. Raymond dart discovered a fossil of skull of 5-6 year old baby from the old Pliocene rocks of  Tuang region (S. Africa). He named it Tuang baby, later on he renamed it A. africanus.

–    About 3-2 million years ago it lived in East African grasslands.

–    Evidences shows they hunted with stone. Probably ate fruits.

–     It was an apeman because it have many characters of man and apes so it is also considered as connecting link between apes and man. 

Apes like characters : 

–    Less cranial capacity – 400 – 500 c.c.

–    Thick growth of hair on body

–    Prognathous.

Man like characters : 

–    Complete erect posture (first man who stood erect)

–    Forelimb shorter than hindlimbs.

–    Bipedal locomotion (first man)

–    Some other varieties of Australopithecus were also discovered by some other scientist.

–    A. boisei [zinjanthropus] by Leakey from East Africa [Tanzania]

–    A. afaransis [Lucy] by Donald Johanson from Ethiopea.

Prehistoric man : - 

A number of other species of Homo appeared and became extinct from time on the evolutionary sense before the origin of homo-sapiens. These extinct species are called prehistoric species of man. 

(1) Homo habilis : - The Tool maker or Handy man.

–    First human being like

–    By nature omnivorous, also show cannibalism

(2) Homo erectus : - direct ancestor of homo sapiens

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

–    Origin and evolution, 1.5 million years ago.

–    Java man

–    Peking man

–    Heidelberg man (Branch from main line of Human evolution)

Java man :

Homo erectus erectus name given by Mayer.  or  Pithecanthropus erectus given by Dubois.    

–    Fossil obtain from central java by Eugene Dubois.

–    Lived in caves

–    They used Tools of bones and stones

–    Cranial capacity – 900 c.c.

    First man who used fire for hunting, protection and cooking 

–    Chin absent, Jaw Prognathous

–    Complete erect posture

–    Omnivorous, cannibalism have also found.

–    It is also known as erect ape man

Peking man : - Homo erectus pekinensis name given by Mayer 

Sinanthropus erectus name was given by Davidson Black  

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

–    W.C. Pai discovered the fossil of peking man from China.

–    Lived in caves

–    Cranial capacity – 1100 c.c.

–    Chin absent, Jaw Prognathous

–    Used sharp chisel shaped tools of stones, bones for cutting and killing animals.

–    Omnivorous, cannibalism has been also found

–    Used fire for cooking meat and for protection.

Heidelberg man : - 

A fossil of lower jaw obtain from Heidelberg in germany it was discovered by Ottoschotensack.

–    Cranial capacity – 1300 c.c.

–    Origin & evolution – in Pleistocene epoch. It is believed that this species was evolved as a branch from main line of evolution and got extinct after some time

(3) Homo sapiens : - 

–    Neanderthal man

–    Cromagnon man  - Direct ancestor of modern man

–    Homo sapiens sapiens - Modern man (Man of today)  

(i)   Neanderthal man : - Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

–  Origin  & evolution before a 30,000 – 1 lakh years

-- Fossils were discovered by C. fulhrott from Neanderthal valley of Germany.

–  They live in huts.

–  Cranial capacity 1400 c.c

Complete erect posture

Ceremonial burial of dead body

Used animals skin as cloths

Beginning of development of speech center.

By nature – omnivorous.

–    First man believed in ''immortality of soul''

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET


(ii)  Cromagnon man : - Homo sapiens fossils

–    Origin and evolution 34000 years ago.

–    Fossils discovered from Cromagnon rocks of France

–    Lived in caves

–    Cranial capacity - 1650 c.c. (maximum) 

–    Complete erect posture

–    Well developed speech centre

–    Orthognathous jaw.

–    Used animal skin as cloth.

–    This man was hunter and used domesticated dogs in hunting, so domestication of animals started
       by cromagnon man.

–    Known for cave paintings.

–    Regarded as the direct ancestor of modern man.

–    By nature carnivorous.

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET


(iii) Homo sapiens sapiens (Modern man) : - Man of today

–    10,000  years ago.

–    Cranial capacity 1450 cc  

–    Complete erect body posture

–    Orthognathous

–    Well developed speech centre, developed languages.

–    Less hairs on body as compared to fossil man

–    Omnivorous.

–    It is believed that modern man evolved in Africa.

–    Agriculture was also started by them. 

Special Point :

The course of cultural evolution is divided in to three age.

Palaeolithic        –    Age of tools of stones and bones.

Mesolithic          –    Age of animals husbandry, language, reading, writing.


(i)   Bronze age        Age of agriculture, knowledge and use of clothes.

(ii)  Iron age             Present age is also known as Iron age.

Man of future : - homo sapiens futuralis

–    Dr. Shapiro named man of future as Homo futuralis    

–    Taller and hairless body          

–    Tomb like head and larger brain.

–    With no fifth finger

Special Point : - 

(1)  Anthropology :- Study of evolutionary history of man.

(2)  Ethology : - Study of animal habbits and behaviour.

(3)  Hylobates hoolock :- (The Gibbon) is the only ape found in India (forests of Assam)

(4)  Races of human - 4 types - Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid, Australoid.

(5)  Hobit : - Recently Richard Roberts scientist discovered a 18,000 years old fossil of a lady form flores island situated near Australia. He gave name it to Hobit/Dwarf man/Homo florasiansis.

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET


Origin & Evolution of Man Notes | Study Biology Class 12 - NEET

–    Tree shrews were first real primates.

–    Old world monkeys are more closer to human as compared to new world monkeys.

–    Chimpanzee is closest ape to human.

–    Australopithecus firstly show bipedal locomotion.

–    Homohabilis is also known as handy man or the tool maker man.

–    Java man firstly used fire.

–    W.C. Pai discovered the fossils of Peking man from China.

–    Neanderthal man was first man who believed in 'immortality of soul.'

–    Cromagnon man was a painter and regarded s the direct ancestor of modern man.

–    Homosapiens sapiens is the man of today.

–    Carolus Linnaeus called human as Homo sapiens wiseman. 

–    Huxley explained origin of man in his book  The man's place in nature'.

–    Darwin explained ancestory of man in his book 'The descent of man'. 

–    Human is a member of order primates of class mammalia.

–    Primates originated 80-100 million years ago in palaeocene epoch of  coenozoic era.

–    Primates originated from elephant shrews but they were not real primates.

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