This is a complete list of all the hominin species that are mentioned in my online courses on human evolution. The list is chronological with the oldest species at the top. New discoveries are of course being made all the time and I'll add to list every time something new comes along!
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Found in Chad in central Africa and dated to 7 million years ago. The oldest generally recognised hominin (human relative). Consists of a skull with a small brain size and protruding browridge. The head appears to have been held in an upright manner which suggests bipedal locomotion.
Found in Kenya in East Africa and dated to 6 million years ago. Includes part of the jaw, several teeth, parts of the femur (thighbone), upper arm (humerus), and part of a thumb. The femur hints at bipedalism while the arm bones indicate a tree-living lifestyle.
Found in Ethiopia in East Africa and dated to 5.6 million years ago and is known only from fragmentary teeth and skeletal remains.
Found in Ethiopia and dated to 4.4 million years ago. The remains include most of the skull and teeth, arm and leg bones, pelvis, hands, and feet. The pelvis and foot bones indicate a primitive form of bipedalism but good climbing ability. It had a small chimpanzee-sized brain and a very apelike skull.
The earliest known species of the genus Australopithecus. Dated to 4.2-3.8 million years ago and found in Kenya and Ethiopia in East Africa. Arm bones show good climbing ability and the leg bones indicate bipedalism. An apelike jaw with some more human characteristics such as smaller front teeth and flatter rear teeth with thick tooth enamel. Like other early hominins it lived in a generally wooded environment.
A species known from dozens of remains from Ethiopia to northern Tanzania and which lived from about 3.9-2.9 million years ago. Similar to the earlier A. anamensis (from which it is probably descended) in mixing bipedal locomotion with strong climbing ability. Probably used trees for food, protection and sleep. The brain size was chimpanzee-sized (roughly 400 cc). Males weighed around 50 kg and were about twice the size of females. Lived in a habitat that was generally wooded but with some wooded dry savannah.
Found in Ethiopia and dated to 2.5 million years ago. A partial skull and leg and arm bones were found. The leg bone (femur) is long and rather human-like. Stone tools were found nearby.
Found at Lake Turkana, Kenya and dated to 3.2-3.5 million years ago. Noted for its small brain size and flat broad face. The teeth have thick enamel and the molars are small. It highlights the diversity of early hominins at this time.
Unlike other australopithecines this one is not from East Africa but from Chad in central Africa. Known from a lower jaw that appears similar in form to A. afarensis and dated to around the same time (3.6 million years ago).
Lived from about 3.3-2.1 million years ago in South Africa and so survived longer than most of the East African australopithecines. Similar anatomy to other australopithecines but perhaps with a more human-like face a slightly larger brain but perhaps some more apelike features below the neck. However, it still clearly walk bipedally.
Lived just under 2 million years ago in South Africa, shortly after the last known appearance of A. africanus, compared to which its anatomy was more human-like, such as the hand bones and it probably had a more modern form of bipedalism.
The earliest from of the so-called 'robust australopithecines', which lived 2.7-2.3 million years ago in East Africa. It was anatomically similar to other australopithcines expect that the rear teeth were huge. A large crest on the top of the skull - the sagittal crest - was for the attachment of strong jaw muscles.
Lived from about 2.4-1.4 million years ago in East Africa and probably descended from P. aethiopicus, compared to which the face was very flat and teeth even more massive. The males seem to have been much larger than the females.
Very similar to P. boisei, living at roughly the same time but instead in South Africa. There is evidence that they used digging sticks, perhaps for digging up foods such as roots and tubers.
Lived about 2.3-1.6 million years ago in East and South Africa. Compared to the australopithecines they had roughly 50% larger brains (640 cc), smaller teeth and more slender jaws, and a less protruding face. However, below the neck they appear to have been very similar with relatively long, strong arms and shortish legs by modern standards and would still have been comfortable climbing trees. They probably made more significant use of stone tools.
Found in East Africa and dated to 2.4-1.8 million years ago. Poorly known compared to H. habilis but seems to have had a flatter face with larger teeth and probably a larger body. The flat face resembles the earlier Kenyanthropus platyops, from which it could therefore be descended.
The name for the African form of Homo erectus, but they were probably just geographic variants of the same species.
Appeared about 1.8 million years ago in Africa and eventually found throughout Africa, much of Asia, and parts of Europe. Survived until at least 300,000 years (and perhaps much later). Noted for having a much more modern body than earlier hominins with long legs and short arms. Brain size was much increased too (roughly 800-1100 cc) and is associated with the more sophisticated tools of the Acheulean industry, typified by hand axes.
Known from Spain and dated to around 800,000 years ago. Distinct from H. erectus in having a larger brain size (about 1100 cc) and fairly modern looking nose and cheekbones. They were about 1.6-1.8 m tall. Stone tool cut marks found on the bones suggest that the bodies were dismembered by other members of the species, in other words possible evidence for cannibalism.
Probably originated from H. erectus around 800 000 years ago, most likely in Africa. It lived across Africa and Europe, ultimately giving rise to the Neanderthals in Europe and modern humans in Africa. They initially made Acheulean tools though later developed more advanced tools using the so-called ‘prepared-core technique’. They were probably active hunters and are known to have made wooden spears. There is evidence too that they made living structures and that they controlled fire.
Found in South Africa and dated to just 300,000 years ago even though it resembles and the early forms of Homo that lived over 2 million years ago. Has a unique combination of primitive and derived features, such as a small brain size (560 cc), curved, apelike fingers, shoulder, trunk and hip joint that are australopithecine-like, wrist, hands, legs and feet that are similar to modern humans, and teeth that have some primitive features but are relatively small and set in lightly built jawbones, which is similar to Homo species.
Lived in Europe and western Asia from about 200,000 to 27,000 years ago. They were relatively short (males about 165 cm) but also squat, and powerfully built. They had large brow ridges and a low receding forehead, but the skull was long and wide and housed a brain that was slightly larger than that of modern humans. They were expert tool makers and hunters and there is some evidence that they sometimes have produced artistic objects and cave art. DNA analyses shows that Neanderthals sometimes interbred with modern humans.
Appeared about 200,000 years ago, probably in Africa. Compared to earlier hominins they had a bulbous skull that is high and domed with a vertical forehead and very rounded at the back, a larger brain (1400cc), a small face topped by small brow ridges, and small jaws and teeth with pronounced chin. Compared to other hominins they made more sophisticated and a greater variety of stone tools and produced more artistic objects and cave art.
Found on the island of Flores in Indonesia, southeast Asia, and lived as recently as 50,000 years ago. They were just over 1 metre tall with a 380 cc brain size (chimp-sized). Certain anatomical features resemble Homo erectus while other are more similar to australopithecines, who lived over 2 million years ago in Africa. It is unclear if they evolved from some type of Homo or if they represent a migration out of Africa but of a much more ancient species.
Found on Luzon island in the Philippines in southeast Asia and dated to 67-50,000 years ago. Rather like Homo floresiensis, also from an island in southeast Asia from around this time, they seem to have been small with an anatomy that is far more archaic than other late surviving species of Homo.
Sahelanthropus tchadensis: Didier Descouens: CC BY-SA 4.0
Ardipithecus ramidus: T. Michael Keesey: CC BY 2.0
Australopithecus afarensis: Ryan Somma: CC BY-SA 2.0
Kenyanthropus platyops: James St. John: CC BY 2.0
Australopithecus africanus: James St. John: CC BY 2.0
Australopithecus sediba: Tim Evanson: CC BY-SA 2.0
Paranthropus aethiopicus: James St. John: CC BY 2.0
Paranthropus boisei: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen: CC BY-SA 3.0
Homo habilis: Guérin Nicolas: CC BY-SA 3.0
Homo rudolfensis: James St. John: CC BY 2.0
Homo erectus: James St. John, CC BY 2.0
Homo antecessor: José-Manuel Benito: Public Domain
Homo heidelbergensis: James St. John: CC BY 2.0
Homo neanderthalensis: James St. John: CC BY 2.0
Homo sapiens: Ryan Somma: CC BY-SA 2.0
Homo floresiensis: Ryan Somma: CC BY-SA 2.0