Support Aeon this December

We offer fine writing, mind-opening ideas and intriguing videos as a gift, free to all. We believe that generosity and open-mindedness are essential to our shared future: this belief infuses our work at Aeon.

Can you help us with a gift in return?

Support Aeon this December

Every donation matters.

I’d like to donate

Last hominin standing – charting our rise and the fall of our closest relatives

Through genome sequencing, we now know that chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing nearly 99 per cent of our DNA. But in the roughly 7 million years since our ancestors split from chimps, Homo sapiens has existed alongside a wide variety of closer evolutionary cousins. This video from the American Museum of Natural History tracks scientists’ current best guess at a timeline of hominin species, including when and where they lived, and how extinctions and interbreeding led to Homo sapiens becoming the last hominin on Earth. And yet, due to gaps in the timeline and continued fossil discoveries, it seems we’ve found only fragments of our evolutionary past, leaving much still to be learned about our family tree.

Executive producer: Vivian Trakinski

Writer and Producer: Laura Moustakerski

Animator: Shay Krasinski

Website: American Museum of Natural History

20 December 2018