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Hominins & humans

Hominins are the creatures which is agreed to include humans or ancestors of humans. One classification of early hominins includes bipedalism. Bipedalism is the characteristic that sets us apart from today’s apes. Despite emerging from similar ancestors, the early “ape-like” creatures were able to change to the early hominins. These involved several processes of evolution, including mutation, genetic recombination, natural selection, and reproductive isolation. In mutation, there are instances when there is a random change in the genetic code of the species, in this case, the early ape-like creatures which happen to be our ancestors. This is the source of the genetic variation which species undergoes over long periods of time.

There is a possibility that our ancestors underwent these mutations because of several geologic activities of the planet. It may have caused the environment to be different, as well as exposure to radiation, thus increasing the rate of mutation for our ancestors. This may have taken a vey long time, but still resulting to a different species, different from the ape-like creatures assumed to be our relatives. Mutation could have been the reason to the upright posture we have today. Our ancestors would have slowly mutated to bipedalism, until they become independent of their forelimbs in their mobility.

Mutation has enabled our ancestors to acquire certain characteristic which is essential for survival at that time. This has also been important when finding their mates. This could lead to the next process of evolution which is the genetic recombination. With the characteristics that they achieved during mutation, all that is left is to spread it by being able to have offsprings that would carry their acquired traits for their survival. The next process of evolution which is the gene flow or the genetic recombination, which is greatly associated with our ancestors evolution towards what we are now.

With the many years of gradual mutation, they were able to develop certain characteristics unique to them. They would afterwards mate with another one of his kind, which has also mutated over this time. They may have acquired different traits and characteristics, especially if they lived in different environments. Our ancestors living near bodies of water could have mutated to adapt to his environment, for over a long period of time. If he meets with an ancestor who lived and survived the mountains, they have also mutated to adopt to their environment.

Because of their mating, they are able to provide an offspring supplied with the special traits and characteristics their parent acquired in the process of mutation. Their genes recombine with one another, thus resulting to an offspring with several unique traits. The next step would be the survival of the fittest. The environment at that time permits certain amounts of change. Under certain circumstances that the environment abruptly changes, the ones who were able to dully adapt to these changes will be the one that would successfully survive.

This includes our ancestors, especially those who mutated and had skills which are essential to adapt to the changes that their environment has. For the case of the hominins, these were the times when bipedalism becomes useful especially when they have to live on land, and not on trees. This is in relation to their food gathering skills, wherein the trees were not able to provide much of their needs, they have to walk the land in order to hunt animals, or gather the foods elsewhere, aside from trees. This has opened doors for their tool making skills.

The final step of mutation that they underwent was the reproductive isolation. Because they have to live away, differently from their ape-like creatures which are our relatives, they began to evolve separately. After a few million years of living separately, their reproductive make-up became different, thus reproduction is impossible. Hominins can only mate with the same species, and our ape-like relatives, only with their own. Because of this, the hominins took a separate path in evolution, which leads to what we are now – different from apes, chimpanzees, and other primates.

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