Africa is indeed the cradle of humankind, following the evolutionary history of fossil discovery around 1924 and many other known facts.
The discovery led scientists to Africa hence deep-diving into research how modern humans emerged from Africa about 200,000 years from a single group of ancestors.
Again, we can easily trace the thought that humans rose from Africa to Charles Darwin’s 1871 book titled “The Descent of Man,” with several other ancient discoveries.
Discussed as follows are the ten (10) known facts showing the human race started from Africa, and they are:
1. Humans look more like chimpanzees and gorillas that lived in Africa
Humans having an identical look with the first apes living in Africa is one of the shreds of evidence that the cradle of humans started in Africa.
Fossil reveals that humans have a strong connection with living ape species, including chimpanzees and gorillas, found across Africa and Asian countries.
The closest relatives to humans are chimpanzees and gorillas, sharing about 98.8 percent of the same DNA.
These species look alike in body structure and behavior, socialize and communicate using body language.
2. The fossil discovery of 1924 in South Africa
The fossil discovery of 1924 by Raymond Dart in South Africa shows human race indeed started in Africa.
Taung child, the first fossil, has humanlike teeth and a face with a skull that is one-third of that of the present human.
More so, the brain (ape-sized) and a hole at the base of the skull prove the ancient human has an upright posture just like modern man.
The discovery occurred during a limestone excavation in Buxton Limeworks, South Africa.
The Taung child, found in 1924, is an evidence item that belongs to the Australopithecus africanus species.
NB: Its discovery was in the Taung Republic of South Africa by Raymond Dart, and it’s more than 2.8 million years old.
3. All archeological records occurred in Africa
Another fact attributing the existence of humans to Africa is that most if not all the records took place in Africa.
Archeological records like animal bones bearing marks of stone tool cutting and stone artifacts occurred in Africa.
Additionally, fossils of humans and animals like pigs, elephants, and horses show that human ancestors ventured into Africa as a whole.
4. Early hominins with ape-sized brains and protruding teeth walked around 4.2 million years in Africa.
Apes with brains and protruding teeth that walked in Africa so many years ago clearly indicate that the African continent is the cradle of humans.
About 4.2 Million years ago, the hominins used upper limbs to climb and lower limbs to walk around Africa, like every human being does today.
The discovery of the ape-sized braincase happened in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, evidence of early hominins walking in Africa.
5. Africa has more genetic diversity than the rest of the world
Africans having genetic multiplicity with early humans confirms the continent as the origin for humans.
According to a molecular and human genetics assistant professor at Baylor, Dr. Neil Hanchard, the leading population-based and data-driven genomic investigation in Africa, discovered a vast diversity in the genetic makeup of southern Africa’s populations.
The researcher’s DNA analysis also reveals that the genetic exchange between African and early humans is significant compared to other global regions.
The study compares remains from human skulls, and the present human suggests cradle of humans started in Africa with the sole aim of getting a better handle for the continent’s genomic makeup.
6. Modern humans in Africa still have a fraction of Neanderthal genes
Modern humans having a fraction of Neanderthal genes to date shows Africa is the lineage of humans.
The evidence that Africa is a continent of the human race lies in the comparable genetic materials in prehistoric and present humans.
The three percent of genes in humans helped Homo sapiens species survive until today.
NB: Neanderthals had kids with ancient humans years back before going extinct.
7. African and the world share some behavioral traits with ape-like ancestors.
Another proof that the human race first started in Africa is that the continent shares the same behavioral traits as ancient humans.
The ape-like ancestors made bone-shaped tools, fishery, ambush hunting, hearths, and artificial shelter.
Ancient stone tools, arts, and symbols are evidence of modern human talent, innovation, and mental skills.
8. Evidence of using a tool on butchered animals emerged in Kenya.
Stone artifacts discovered in Kenya are early humans’ crafted tools in Africa million years ago, thus a known fact that the human race started from the continent.
The tools include rudimentary hammers, and sharp edged-flakes could be for nuts opening and cutting meat from the animal body.
The tools uncovered near Lake Turkana, Kenya, require conceptual skills as they helped the early hominins.
9. The early humans used projectile weapons that are still in use.
Another fact that indicates early humans began from Africa is that they (human ancestors) constructed high-tech projectile weapons that are still in use until the present time.
According to research, it becomes one of the oldest conclusive pieces of evidence that human beings emerged from Africa. Researchers dated such projectiles to 80,000 years ago.
These early humans also created multipart tools that ordinarily require lots of preparation and insight.
Like every other ape, humans have capable, dexterous hands that permit them to grip and manipulate tools.
Presently, humans are so dependent on tools and technology that they are unique in using tools to create tools.
These tools facilitated early humans to modify their surroundings, acquire the latest foods, and exist in several environments.
The earliest stone tools used 2.6 million years ago consist of cores, simple stone flakes, and hammerstones.
1.6 million years later, early humans created more sophisticated tools like hand axes and more.
10. Africans are remarkably similar to the Homo sapiens species.
The personalities that define our present-day species changed more than six million years ago as the first humans modified to the changing world.
Around 200 000 years ago, Homo sapiens developed in East Africa, and though there is dissimilarity, we are much more identical than we are different.
Only Africans have the closest link with the earliest human species that evolved in Africa, known as Homo sapiens.
Features of Homo sapiens similar to today human
Characteristics that differentiate hominins from other primates are their larger brains, erect posture, behavioral language, and bipedal locomotion.
About Homo sapiens or human
According to William Turton’s translation of Linnaeus, Homo sapiens is from a Latin word Homo meaning Man while Sapiens means Wise.
The term Homo sapiens was used first by the founder of the modern biological classification Carolus Linnaeus in 1758.
Human lineage ranges from Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens.
The uniqueness of man (Homo sapiens) differentiated it from apes like orangutans, gorillas, gibbons, and chimpanzees.
Scientific classification of human
- Kingdom – Animalia
- Class – Mammalian
- Suborder – Haplorhini
- Family – Hominidae
- Tribe – Hominini
- Species – Homo sapiens
- Phylum – Chordata
- Order – Primates
- Infraorder – Simiiformes
- Subfamily – Homininae
- Genus – Homo
Is Africa the birthplace of the human race?
Following the archeological and fossil evidence, the cradle of humans is the Afar Triangle in East Africa.
What races came from Africa?
The ethnic groups of Africa are Hausa, Chewa, Igbo, Luba, Hutu, Amhara, Akan, Fulani, Yoruba, etc.
Did the first human come from Africa?
The fossils of humans that lived two million years ago came from Africa, and scientists have recognized over 20 species.
How do we know that the first humans came from Africa?
DNA and fossil reveals that modern humans evolved in Africa between 200,000 to 300,000 million years ago
Ancient DNA, the fossil record, and genetic data give an idea and approach with little or no doubt that humankind ultimately originated in Africa.
After rigorous research, all the humans living in the present world belong to the Homo sapiens species that emerged from the African continent.