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How significant are the differences?


While hominid skulls are distinct from those of other apes, such as chimps, these differences were less pronounced in the earliest hominids. Some opponents of evolution have claimed that australopithecines were essentially chimp-like apes (although some opponents have claimed that australopithecines were humans which were unrelated to chimps). An australopithecine and a male common chimp are depicted in the left image below. Opponents of evolution have differed on whether to classify Homo habilis as a human or as an ape. A Homo habilis skull and the skull of a female Bonobo chimp are depicted in the image on the right.

The following images compare two different Homo habilis skulls (on the left in each image) to the most primitive Homo erectus skull. Opponents of evolution typically accept Homo erectus as fully human.

Homo erectus varied over time and across its geographic range. Some African forms are sometimes classified as Homo ergaster (on the right) and potential ancestors of more modern humans.

Even after hominids evolved a brain size which is within the range of modern humans, the skull shape still possessed significant differences. Are the differences between the modern and fossil skulls in the images below any less significant than the differences between chimps and early hominids?

Fossils classified as Homo floriensis are thought to represent a population of either Homo erectus or Homo sapiens that reduced its size as an adaptation to island habitats.

As in all species, variations exist between modern human skulls.

The hips (and legs and feet) of australopithecines were more similar to those of modern humans than they were to modern chimps. The first image depicts a chimp hip and an australopithecine hip and the second image depicts a human hip and an australopithecine hip.

Compare the hand of a chimp (left) to that of a human (right). Could this degree of variation evolve after 7 million years of gradual change?






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