Evolution of the ‘Homo’ genus: New mysteries and perspectives


Abstract


This work reviews the main questions surrounding the evolution of the genus Homo, such as its origin, the problem of variability in Homo erectus and the impact of palaeogenomics. A consensus has not yet been reached regarding which Australopithecus candidate gave rise to the first representatives assignable to Homo and this discussion even affects the recognition of the H. habilis and H. rudolfensis species. Regarding the variability of the first palaeodemes assigned to Homo, the discovery of the Dmanisi site in Georgia called into question some of the criteria used until now to distinguish between species like H. erectus or H. ergaster. Finally, the emergence of palaeogenomics has provided evidence that the flow of genetic material between old hominin populations was wider than expected.


Keywords


palaeogenomics; Homo genus; hominins; variability; Dmanisi

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