Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans
This film explores the major fossil finds from Africa that provide insights about the evolution of humans from other primates.
Like any species, humans have an evolutionary history involving divergence from other animal groups. Paleontologists try to reconstruct this evolutionary history using the fossil record. This film discusses some of the most important hominid fossils and how they illuminate key phases of human evolution, focusing on three traits: larger brains, use of tools, and bipedality.
The “Abbreviated Film Guide” provides a short summary of the film, along with key concepts and connections to curriculum standards.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, bipedal, fossil, hominin, Laetoli, primate, Zinjanthropus
White, Tim D., Berhane Asfaw, Yonas Beyene, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, C. Owen Lovejoy, Gen Suwa, Giday WoldeGabriel. “Ardipithecus ramidus and the paleobiology of early hominids.” Science, 326, 5949 (2009): 75–86.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
AP Biology (2019)
IB Biology (2016)
5.1, 5.4, 10.3
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.6, 2.7
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Vision and Change (2009)