Your Place in the Primate Family Tree

  • Published on: 16 October 2018
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    Purgatorius, a kind of mammal called a plesiadapiform, might’ve been one of your earliest ancestors. But how did we get from a mouse-sized creature that looked more like a squirrel than a monkey -- to you, a member of Homo sapiens?

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the Purgatorius reconstruction. Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at and

    And thanks as always to Nobumichi Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart:

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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    Katie Fichtner, Aldo Espinosa Zúñiga, Anthony Callaghan, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Anel Salas, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, Svetlana Pylaeva, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, John Vanek, Jose Garcia, Noah offitzer, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Sapjes, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao. Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Joshua Mitchell, Johnny Li, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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    Collard, M., & Wood, B. (2013). Defining the genus Homo. Handbook of Paleoanthropology: Vol I: Principles, Methods and Approaches Vol II: Primate Evolution and Human Origins Vol III: Phylogeny of Hominids, 1-31.
  • Runtime : 12:26
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history Purgatorius ape lemur monkey mammal plesiadapiform Order of Primate synapomorphies molecular clock DNA family family tree cladogram taxonomy last common ancestor Simiiformes Infraorder Hominoidea Homo Homo Sapiens Hominini hominins Superfamily Suborder strepsirrhines Tribe adapoids omomyoids genus species


  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   1 years ago

    Hi everyone in the comment section! Just to echo what Kallie said at the beginning of the episode: our first-ever sticker is available now. Designed by the brilliant paleoartist Franz Anthony! Check it out:

  • Shark Girl
    Shark Girl   1 days ago

    11:18 so what I’m hearing is that humans are monkeys. Excellent.

  • Monder kbaeli
    Monder kbaeli   2 days ago

    if this thing evolved to human in 60 million years, what are the chances that could be others before us !!

  • Eric Graham
    Eric Graham   3 days ago

    EXCELLENT 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆💎🏆🏆🏆🏆

  • UberKrassMann
    UberKrassMann   1 weeks ago

    this explains why we find squirrels cute. we use to look like them.

  • HoRu
    HoRu   2 weeks ago

    Such an engaging episode. So well done and so meticulous! Would love to see this done with other orders of animals if it hasn't already been done.

  • sue she
    sue she   2 weeks ago

    I don't understand evolution

  • Nico Ren
    Nico Ren   1 months ago

    Amaze! I wonder what we could evolve into

  • jesser
    jesser   1 months ago

    6:35 You are an ape if you are reading this comment

  • Marco Pothuizen
    Marco Pothuizen   1 months ago took 58 millions to become what we are now...and in about 500 years we have destroyed the whole human race....Well done folks. Make more war, destroy more nature and maybe we will succeed in 400 years.

  • Roy Boy00047
    Roy Boy00047   1 months ago

    Excellent video but sorry I didn't get how to find last common ancestor(LCA), my bad.

  • Yuu Asano
    Yuu Asano   1 months ago

    I have a fish and everyday I go like "hi Grandma"

  • Trucker Josh VLOGS
    Trucker Josh VLOGS   1 months ago

    I identify as an octopus. Where does that put me on this fancy chart of yours

  • Nikki Schiffer
    Nikki Schiffer   1 months ago

    this must be why some Indian people believe you can end a curse if you marry a banana tree. the curse of not finding someone to marry or if you have relationship problems.

  • Ben Nupp
    Ben Nupp   1 months ago

    I thought siamang was how latinos say goodbye.

  • Petroxky N1
    Petroxky N1   1 months ago

    The proof for evolution can be found in....a cool power point presentations. Make sure to connect the dots with lines and and add some cool music effects at the right time. Don't forget to use some big words. And if you draw a picture of our apes ancestors, make sure you put a smile on their face. There you have it, the proof for evolution!

  • clydemosis
    clydemosis   1 months ago

    I'm not buying everyone a Christmas gift this year!

  • Fulvio Pontarollo
    Fulvio Pontarollo   2 months ago

    One mammal just learned how to grab stuff, and walk. No, like, walk like that, and grab stuff at the same time.And bang rocks together to make pointed rocks “Ouch”And set things on fire“Yeouch”And make different sounds with their voice“Gneurshk”Which can mean different things( ”Hi” “Bye” “Can you hand me that rock over there?” )THAT’S A HUMAN PERSON!

  • Drew Fisher
    Drew Fisher   2 months ago

    Latest studies show that non-coding genomes are really not that silent. For example, non-coding DNA in intron located near loci modulating heart function actually produce micro-RNA that can down-modulate messenger -RNA transcribed from that regulatory loci. Varieties among these non-coding DNA influence whether organism survive heart accident or not among other things. Thus, it is highly probable that it is selected for. This should call the mollecular clock's validity and accuracy into questions.

  • Alondra Contreras
    Alondra Contreras   2 months ago

    we’re all sapians (some w neanderthal dna) but we all stem from ethnic backgrounds. ethnic meaning type of sapien species? our features, body type, various melanins, food/skills are fromdifferent environmental locations. im interested

  • Luke A
    Luke A   2 months ago

    So I'm a type of ape?

  • Wilhelm Dietz
    Wilhelm Dietz   2 months ago

    Isn't this story much better than some guy named Adam just randomly existing and his wife Eve, made from his rib?

  • shivram sanap
    shivram sanap   2 months ago

    What an reconstruction... Hats off to all of you... It is much better way to learn... I am the student of geology so understood it fully..again thanks to everyone.

    SPACEMONKEY288   3 months ago

    this channel is amazing!! absolutely love it dont stop!

  • Thomas
    Thomas   3 months ago

    4:13 T- That's australopithecus afarensis...

  • Patrick Loney
    Patrick Loney   3 months ago

    My brain... Man it would be nice just to go back a few thousand years just to observe humans

  • Kairikey
    Kairikey   3 months ago

    Whenever I see an evolution tree of life I always thought how human centric the shape become... the slope are all leaning to human. I understand that it make sense since it's us who want to know who we are related to and all but still...

  • Matt Bonneville
    Matt Bonneville   3 months ago

    I'm waiting for my back-hair to go silver so I can be the dominant ape in my tribe.