Human evolution has taken far more than five stages, of course, but these figures represent major milestones in development. A. afarensis is modeled after Lucy, an ape-like ancestor from Africa with the earliest evidence of bipedalism. Skipping ahead perhaps a million years to H. habilis, evidence of tool manufacture is present, and features are more human than ape. H. erectus means upright human, and at this stage, tool manufacture and use of fire were quite developed. H. Neanderthalis is similar to modern humans, both in structure as well as in thinking and communication ability. Finally, H. sapiens sapiens represents the last 40,000 years of development, a time in which humans created art and exercised control over their environment.
The story of evolution is told in visual, touchable form with these five figures representing various stages of human development. The set begins with the ape-like Australopithecus afarensis and progresses 2 million years or more to Homo sapiens sapiens, the very wise human.
Scientific Name: Australopithecus afarensis; Homo habilis; Homo erectus; Homo neanderthalis; Homo sapiens sapiens
Characteristics: Each of the five figures represents a specific point in the millions of years of human evolution, and each figure features objects or clothing illustrating the stage of development.
Size and Color: Ranging from the 2 ½ inch tall A. afarensis to the 3 inch tall H. sapiens sapiens, these figures are realistic in scale and texture, as hairy, ape-like bodies give way to more modern facial and body structures.
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