Early Human Phylogeny

A phylogenetic tree is a graphical means to depict the evolutionary relationships of a group of organisms. The phylogenetic tree below shows one reconstruction of the relationships among early human species, as we best know them today. It is a clickable image map. To go to a species page, click on the bar below the species name, or you can choose from the text links below. The question marks in red signify debated phylogenetic (ancestor/descendent) relationships of early humans. Click on these to view a page detailing the debate. At each page you can learn about the species you chose. Follow further links to any of the fossil specimens shown to learn more about specific finds.

Image map of human phylogenetic tree
Early Human Species:
Catalog of Specimens:

You can also browse our collection to select particular specimen.
Follow this link to go to our specimen catalog.

Ardipithecus ramidus

Australopithecus anamensis
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus africanus
Australopithecus garhi

Paranthropus aethiopicus
Paranthropus boisei
Paranthropus robustus

Homo habilis
Homo rudolfensis
Homo ergaster
Homo erectus
Homo heidelbergensis
Homo neanderthalensis
Homo sapiens

View QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality) movies of skull casts in the National Collection.

Return to the Primate Introduction

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