Department of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology
University of Debrecen
Magyarul  |  in English
Human evolution


Lectures: 2
Credits: 2
Examination: oral
Lecturer: László Szathmáry, dr. (associate professor)

The aims of the course: To know the most important steps of human evolution.

The subject of the course: Outlines of subhuman evolution. Characteristics of Dryopithecus and Ramapithecus formation. Chronology and probable corelations of African Pliocene and Pleistocene genera (Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Ardipithecus, Kenyapithecus, Australopithecus, Paranthropus). The early Homo in Africa (habilis, ergaster, rudolfensis). Commencement of producing and using implements. Adaptation and selection in the process leading to the evolution of the Genus Homo. Development of Homo erectus. The first Homo invasions in Europe (Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis). Characteristic features and radiations of the anatomically archaic Homo sapiens. Evaluation of the presapiens and preneanderthals from the viewpoint of evolution. The effect of Pleistocene climate pulsations on the differentiations of the Genus Homo. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, its development, adaptation and the probable causes. of its extinction. Monocentric and polycentric explanations for the origin of the anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Molecular biological arguments (’Eve’ hypothesis). Evolution of the production of implements during the past two million years. How can the Genus Homo be defined? Cultural and behaviour patterns in the evolution and differentiation of mankind. Development of geographical races. Neolithisation; population historical effects of productive economy.

Kordos L. 2000. New results of Hominoid research in the Carpathian Basin. Acta Biologica Szegediensis, 44: 71-74.
Martin RD. 1990. Primate Origins and Evolution Chapman and Hall, London.
Smith FH. & Spencer F. (eds.) 1984. The Origin of Modern Humans. Alan R. Liss, New York.
Szathmáry L. 2002. Humans and Climate Pulsation. Anthrop. Közl., 43: 9-19.

downloadable materials