Stand up straight Blink and you’ll miss them Imagine the history of the Earth is 24 hours from its beginning as space dust swirled around and finally bonded together to form a planet with gravity in its core. From 0.00 to 3am, the Earth was under constant bombardment from meteorites crashing into the surface. At 4am, life began….well. come on...not exactly reindeer gliding over plains of grass. Bacteria and single-cell organisms squelched about at a microscopic size. Not very exciting at all! If you visited as an alien, you’d just fall asleep from the sheer boredom of it. Oh, asleep in a boat - I forgot to mention that all of this life was mainly under the ocean. It gets absolutely thrilling at 8.30pm (that’s right - PM - a lot of bacterial slime from 4am until 8.30pm) because we begin to get seaweed!!! Hurray! Jellyfish gurgle into the picture at 8.48pm and then...HANG ON ...WHERE ARE THE EXCITING ANIMALS? Dinosaurs arrive at 10.56pm - YAY!!! - and disappear not long after - BOO! Mammals pop in at 11.39pm and FINALLY, with further ado, humans arrive at 11.58.43 PM. 1 minute and 13 seconds in 24 hours is all we get and within that epoch, we didn’t do a great deal of anything except evolving until about 13,000 years ago.
Dude, I don’t know what to do...
Well, all of that evolving happened over millions of years down in Africa (that’s right - we all descended from the same place - brother from another mother and sister from another mister - we’re family!!!). Each new evolved human has a different latin name, but let’s focus on some more modern versions. Homo habilis and then Homo erectus (erectus because we started to stand up straight/erect!!!) were roughly the same size as us, but so, so much more dim-witted and unintelligent. Their brains were half the size of ours and thus 50% dumber. They were probably stronger than us, but that all means very little if you can’t invent decent tools. These early humans weren’t exactly the brightest of sparks and you definitely wouldn’t invite them to your birthday party - they’d be incredibly embarrassing guests! Homo sapiens/Neanderthals
At a certain point, early humans (probably in search of food), decided to migrate north toward Europe and off east toward Asia. Distinct differences emerged as this happened. Bone shapes and brain sizes were slightly different, but what connected all groups, including neanderthals, was that they were all totally pitiful at catching anything. Studying bones and sites left behind by these groups can show us a lot about their lives. Early humans were ineffective at hunting. Few large animal bones or even fish bones were found near their camps. This means that early humans were simply too dim-witted to build fishing rods, bows, or traps to catch anything except very slow rabbits who wanted to be stroked. This lack of hunting proficiency is important because it suggests that early humans loved their veggies because that’s almost all they had to eat. They hadn’t domesticated animals or plants yet, so that means a lot of nuts, sour apples (because apples were not really sweet naturally), and (hopefully) some non-poisonous and toxic mushrooms (“This is delic….*choke*.” Oh dear). Also, we can study the tools left behind by our early human dim-wits. Let me tell you, they weren’t very impressive. Imagine something a 3 year old could make! So, let’s celebrate early humans - a huge, roaming band of fools. Hurray!!!