The story of our species has been slowly unraveling for centuries.
Scientists have discovered that fact can be stranger than fiction, and the more we learn, the more that new mysteries emerge.
Let’s talk about the story of Humankind.
The Story Of Humankind
What Are Some Facts About The Earth?
Earth is the third planet from the sun, and it’s the only place in the known universe confirmed to host life.
With a radius of about 4,000 miles, Earth is the fifth largest planet in our solar system, and it’s the only one confirmed to have liquid water on its surface.
About 4.5 billion years ago, Earth formed when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust into place.
Like its other fellow terrestrial planets, Earth has a central core, a rocky mantle, and a solid crust. (Source: www.nationalgeographic.com)
How Was The Moon Formed?
The most widely accepted theory today is the giant-impact theory.
It proposes that the Moon formed during a collision between the Earth and another smaller planet, about the size of Mars.
The debris from the impact collected in an orbit around Earth to form the Moon. (Source: www.nhm.ac.uk)
Did Any Dinosaurs Survive?
Birds: Birds are the only dinosaurs that survived the mass extinction event 65 million years ago.
Frogs & Salamanders: These seemingly delicate amphibians were able to survive the extinction that wiped out larger animals.
Lizards: These reptiles, distant relatives of dinosaurs, did survive the extinction. (Source: www.amnh.org)
**EDIT Please note that the Moon is nearly the same age as the Earth itself, these are two distinct impact events a very long time apart.**
What Dinosaurs Still Exist Today?
In an evolutionary sense, birds are a living group of dinosaurs because they descended from the common ancestor of all dinosaurs. (Source: www.amnh.org)
Who Were The First Mammals?
The earliest known mammals were the morganucodontids.
They were tiny shrew-size creatures that lived in the shadows of the dinosaurs about 210 million years ago. (Source: www.nationalgeographic.com)
When Did Homo Sapiens First Appear?
The species that we and all other living human beings on this planet belong to is Homo sapiens.
During a time of dramatic climate change about 300,000 years ago, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa. (Source: www.humanorigins.si.edu)
Who Were The First Hominids?
The first hominids emerged in Africa about two million years ago, a long while before the modern humans known as Homo sapiens appeared on the same continent.
Many anthropologists today still don’t know exactly how different groups of humans interacted and mated with each other over this long stretch of prehistory. (Source: www.history.com)
Evolution Of Human Emotions
According to evolutionary theory, different emotions evolved at different times in our history.
Primal emotions, such as fear, are actually associated with ancient parts of the brain and presumably evolved among our pre-mammal ancestors.
Filial emotions, such as a human mother’s love for her offspring, seem to have evolved among the early mammals.
As far as social emotions, such as guilt and pride, those are believed to have evolved among social primates. (Source: www.en.wikipedia.org)
Did Humans Evolve From Apes?
Humans are one type of several living species of great apes. We evolved right alongside orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas.
All of us share a common ancestor before about 7 million years ago. (Source: www.britannica.com)
Are We Classified As Great Apes?
Humans are primates. It’s a diverse group that includes some 200 species.
Monkeys, lemurs and apes are our cousins, and we all have evolved from a common ancestor over the past 60 million years.
Human beings are classified in the sub-group of primates known as the Great Apes.
This ape group can be further subdivided into the Great Apes and Lesser Apes. (Source: www.australian.museum)
How Do Scientists Know The Age Of An Object?
To establish the age of a rock or a fossil, researchers will use some type of clock to determine the date it was formed.
For example geologists commonly use radiometric dating methods, based on the natural radioactive decay of certain elements such as potassium and carbon, as reliable clocks to date ancient events. (Source: www.www.nature.com)
What are Some Other Cool Facts About The Earth?
- Glaciers and ice sheets hold about 69 percent of all the world’s freshwater.
- The fastest wind ever recorded on Earth was 253 miles per hour.
- Recent droughts in Europe were considered the worst in 2,100 years.
- The best place in the world to see rainbows is Hawaii. (Source: www.bestlifeonline.com)
What is Another Interesting Fact About Earth?
One year on Earth isn’t 365 days.
The trip around our sun from here actually takes 365.2564 days. It’s that extra .2564 days that creates the need for a leap year once every four years.
That’s why we add on an extra day in February every four years.
As fascinating as our past has been, our history is still being written, and we are probably still evolving towards something else entirely.
What will the scientists of the future say about our era?
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