In part 1 of our special series on human ancestry, we tour through our family tree to meet our ancestors and distant cousins, and to find out what made us human along the way.
The story of human ancestry is not a simple progression from primitive apes to us, with all the ape/human intermediates in between. The real human story is much richer and more complex, full of branches, gaps, and shadowy parts. A century and a half of fossil finds tells us perhaps two dozen human species lived on Earth between now and the time when our ancestors split from chimpanzee ancestors. The new era of DNA and genetics is upending that story yet again.
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