The Humans That Lived Before Us

  • Published on: 29 January 2019
  • As more and more fossil ancestors have been found, our genus has become more and more inclusive, incorporating more members that look less like us, Homo sapiens. By getting to know these other hominins--the ones who came before us--we can start to answer some big questions about what it essentially means to be human.

    Thanks as always to Nobu Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart:

    Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Studio 252mya for the hominin illustrations. You can find more of Julio's work here:

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:

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    Antón, S. C., Potts, R., & Aiello, L. C. (2014). Evolution of early Homo: an integrated biological perspective. Science, 345(6192), 1236828.
    Gibbons, A. (2015). Deep roots for the genus Homo.
    Haile-Selassie, Y., Latimer, B. M., Alene, M., Deino, A. L., Gibert, L., Melillo, S. M., ... & Lovejoy, C. O. (2010). An early Australopithecus afarensis postcranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(27), 12121-12126.
    Leakey, L. S., Tobias, P. V., & Napier, J. R. (1964). A new species of the genus Homo from Olduvai Gorge.
    Schwartz, J. H., & Tattersall, I. (2015). Defining the genus Homo. Science, 349(6251), 931-932.
    Susman, R. L. (1994). Fossil evidence for early hominid tool use. Science, 265(5178), 1570-1573.
    Villmoare, B., Kimbel, W. H., Seyoum, C., Campisano, C. J., DiMaggio, E. N., Rowan, J., ... & Reed, K. E. (2015). Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia. Science, 347(6228), 1352-1355.
    Wood, B. (1992). Origin and evolution of the genus Homo. Nature, 355(6363), 783.
    Wood, B. (1999). 'Homo rudolfensis' Alexeev, 1986-fact or phantom?. Journal of human evolution, 36(1), 115.
    Wood, B. (2014). Human evolution: Fifty years after Homo habilis. Nature News, 508(7494), 31.
    Wood, B., & Collard, M. (1999). The human genus. Science, 284(5411), 65-71.
  • Runtime : 12:22
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history human evolution hominins homo habilis homo sapiens homo erectus homo rudolfensis homo ergaster australopithecines australopithecus sediba australopithecus afarensis anthropology paleoanthropology physical anthropology biological anthropology


  • Roroy Plays
    Roroy Plays   1 hours ago

    And I thought my crush is beautiful like her ancestors but ..... nope...

  • Roroy Plays
    Roroy Plays   2 hours ago

    Homo.... homo.... hmm... HOBO HOMELESS!!!Yeah I’m so smart....

    SADAB HOSSAIN   21 hours ago

    We replaced to niyandarthals 40000 years ago.

  • Sachin Raghavan
    Sachin Raghavan   2 days ago

    It's all our fault that the rest of humans were wiped out. We pushed them to extinction just like we did to all the other megafauna.

  • Video Axis360
    Video Axis360   4 days ago

    Hominids I learned about in schoolAustralopithecus afarensisHomo habilis Homo orgastorHomo erectus Homo sapien neanderthalensis Or Homo NeanderthalensisHomo sapien

  • AC DC
    AC DC   4 days ago

    Here's a bit from my upcoming book. Human has degraded into monkeys instead of evolving. Then returned to Earth about million years ago and permanently settled here.

  • AC DC
    AC DC   4 days ago

    You look and sound so beautiful I'm subbing in for more stories. ❤

  • Choker Harden
    Choker Harden   6 days ago

    Damn so another 100000 years and we will evolve

  • Henri Yoon
    Henri Yoon   6 days ago

    Evolution: existsHominins: yeah, its big brain time

  • Kohlenstoffisotop12
    Kohlenstoffisotop12   6 days ago

    That Steve always gets that special procounciation, I kinda like it. ^.^

  • Kohlenstoffisotop12
    Kohlenstoffisotop12   6 days ago

    So there is a place, where all kinds of different ones died alongside? What a nice thought. : >

  • PAUL E.T.
    PAUL E.T.   1 weeks ago

    That stone at 1:01 if you pause the video and tilt the monitor to the right, it looks exactly just them.. lol 😂

  • Cotton Cat
    Cotton Cat   1 weeks ago

    If i went back in time I'd want to be near a tobacco plant

  • Joe Matore
    Joe Matore   1 weeks ago

    well if homohabilis is handy man they built their own civilization so where is it.

  • Native Engine
    Native Engine   1 weeks ago

    Is there a facial reconstruction of a Denisovan yet?

  • Tenmil
    Tenmil   1 weeks ago

    I didn’t understand a word she said , 😔😔😔😔😔

  • Just Elder
    Just Elder   1 weeks ago

    The Humans before us were Mankind...They got olderThey were StrongerThey were WiserThey were the gods on Earth back in those days..

  • Depipro
    Depipro   1 weeks ago

    To take a step back and think, "and decide what traits we think are important for being human" - that sounds like a very meaningful exercise to do from time to time for any individual, not just paleontologists. :)

  • Mark Hollas
    Mark Hollas   2 weeks ago

    Lets take the parameters for being Homo and reflect it on to K-9 (dogs). It would make no sense. Brain cc, posture etc. Dogs range such a variety that there should not be one catch all. However we still just group them and call them dogs. Let's face it, we are, on a galactic scale, just some other species' dogs.

  • Sean Clifford
    Sean Clifford   2 weeks ago

    I think humans either started in Africa or Asia

  • Teresa Dalton
    Teresa Dalton   2 weeks ago

    But if anything this trouble began whenever scientists determined certain things qualified these bones as humans. Then when that fell through they went from brains to teeth. When that falls through they will go to something else. Yet it's real now...remember...its real even if were wrong or constantly changing everything.

  • Teresa Dalton
    Teresa Dalton   2 weeks ago

    There is a problem alright. Problem comes when you make an assumption and set out to prove it anything will be accepted. When that is proven incorrect instead of changing that assumption you continue with it.

  • sidney Grosshar
    sidney Grosshar   2 weeks ago

    Hint. Humans didn’t all come out of Africa. We know this. The fossil record proves it.

  • sidney Grosshar
    sidney Grosshar   2 weeks ago

    Show me the DNA link between us and any of the animals you list. I’ll wait.

  • Angry Lemur05
    Angry Lemur05   2 weeks ago

    Everyone I don’t think I’m human I have no ability to make any tools and I have no skills in speaking/writing

  • Bruce Campbell
    Bruce Campbell   2 weeks ago

    With such a limited fossil record, hominin taxonomy can only be very fluid at this point.

  • Freeda Peeple
    Freeda Peeple   2 weeks ago

    Humans are the only species that uses insanity as a survival trait

  • subhabrata das
    subhabrata das   2 weeks ago

    Look how far we have come.Now we don't even know our sex.

  • Ankita Shukla
    Ankita Shukla   2 weeks ago

    Language is not clear please describes to clear languages and speed are slowly anyway it's fantastic

  • Dim pothisal KH
    Dim pothisal KH   2 weeks ago

    Sometimes i think where did we all get our language? How did we know how to talk but others doesnt speak the same language ? How did scientist know how long extinct creatures have lived for?What was there before the milky way or are we the only galaxy that have born first? Why do i exist? Why do we all exist? Why cant we all live in peace except fighting in war...? Why do we all have to suffer?

  • Sydney Fleischer
    Sydney Fleischer   2 weeks ago

    They have lived their lives millions of years ago,according to their environmental adaptations and nutrition available,our early relatives will continue to sway and baffle the brains of our scientists.Watch my music videos @Fleshoo/FLESHOO1.

  • harsh kanu
    harsh kanu   2 weeks ago

    Is it possible that other species of humans were wiped out by pathogens?And if so, were those the same pathogens that infect us today?

  • 718pride
    718pride   3 weeks ago

    Do you think that the origins of tales and descriptions of orcs, goblins, monsters etc. were based on humans interacting with H Erectus and Neanderthals?