It would seem to be a common conception that humans evolved from the great apes when they came down from the canopy and on to the planes. But this I think is a misconception. Yes hominids have a common ancestry with the great apes but that common ancestor may well have been a quadraped. The great apes went up into the trees developing hand-like front appendages to help them navigate the branches but our line stayed firmly on the ground developing into bi-peds who no longer used their front legs for locomotion at all freeing their hands up for further evolution. There were probably many examples of bi-pedal apes but it was homo habilis it seems who could first be classified as a hominid proper. That does not necessarily mean habilis was a direct predecessor as I said there were many hominids. Eventually anyway a hominid whose hands and brain had co-evolved supreme dexterity and the unique ability to concentrate on a particular task and from whom all the anti-social pecking ordering and alpha male-dome had been more or less selected out emerged and that was us.
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