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Early humans exhibited a range of sizes

Posted on Monday, 30 March, 2015 | Comment icon 12 comments

Not all of our prehistoric ancestors were the same. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Tim Evanson
Our distant ancestors came in a variety of different shapes and sizes, just like modern humans do today.
Its easy to imagine that our prehistoric ancestors were all more or less the same height and size, but now new evidence has been found to support the idea that, like us, the people who lived two million years ago exhibited a wide range of different heights, weights and physical characteristics.

This view is now widely favored over the notion that fossils of different sizes belonging to early humans were actually from separate subspecies with minor physical differences.

"If someone asked you 'are modern humans six foot tall and 70kg?' you'd say 'well, some are, but many people aren't, and what we're starting to show is that this diversification happened really early in human evolution," said Dr Jay Stock of Cambridge University.

The study, which was the first in two decades to compare the body sizes of prehistoric humans, involved measurements of fossils found in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Georgia.

"We can now start thinking about what regional conditions drove the emergence of this diversity, rather than seeing body size as a fixed and fundamental characteristic of a species," said Dr Stock.

Source: Isle of Man Today | Comments (12)

Tags: Early Man

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Lenore Graves on 30 March, 2015, 13:39
Did we really need evidence of this? Kind of a given that there was diversity among early humans, obviously they werent all clones.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Foil Hat Ninja on 30 March, 2015, 13:46
A million years from now, scientists will be trying to figure out how Yao Ming and Vern Troyer's two species could have evolved simultaneously.
Comment icon #5 Posted by clare256 on 30 March, 2015, 16:28
Well, Big Duh
Comment icon #6 Posted by Atuke on 30 March, 2015, 16:59
Hmmm finally getting rid of the old dogmatic ways. Now apply this to the hobbit people and Sasquatch.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Stardrive on 30 March, 2015, 17:23
Well, Big Duh And little duh, and medium sized duh..... I luv you sis!!!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Jerzy on 31 March, 2015, 0:34
amazing, there are people that actually getting paid for saying such obvious things. I'm jealous, I would love to get paid for saying profound theories like for example: the early humans ate meat. Whoa, I giving it free to you all though
Comment icon #9 Posted by spud the mackem on 31 March, 2015, 8:51
He doesn't look happy, I think he lost his razor
Comment icon #10 Posted by Foil Hat Ninja on 31 March, 2015, 13:57
Forget the razor. Where did he get a camera?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Dave From Down Under on 1 April, 2015, 0:34
World's first "selfie" . . . ?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Detective Mystery 2015 on 2 April, 2015, 5:32
A million years from now, scientists will be trying to figure out how Yao Ming and Vern Troyer's two species could have evolved simultaneously. That's a brilliant point because archaeological discoveries may yield inaccurate samples of the true size of ordinary people. If scientists use a "small family" to guess the height of all individuals in a specific area, the examples won't give an accurate representation of the real average of the whole area.

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