Becoming Human – Birth Of Humanity (NOVA Documentary)
The second episode of this series from NOVA investigates the first skeleton that really looks like us „Turkana Boy“ an astonishingly complete specimen of Homo erectus found by the famous Leakey team in Kenya. These early humans are thought to have developed key innovations that helped them thrive, including hunting large prey, the use of fire, and extensive social bonds. The program examines an intriguing theory that long distance running, our ability to jog was crucial for the survival of these early hominids. Not only did running help them escape from vicious predators roaming the grasslands, but it also gave them a unique hunting strategy: chasing down prey animals such as deer and antelope to the point of exhaustion. Birth of Humanity also probes how, why, and when humans‘ uniquely long period of childhood and parenting began. Nothing is more fascinating to us than, well, us. Where did we come from? What makes us human? NOVA’s groundbreaking investigation explores how new discoveries are transforming views of our earliest ancestors. Featuring interviews with world renowned scientists, footage shot in the trenches as fossils were unearthed, and stunning computer generated animation, Becoming Human brings early hominids to life, examining how they lived and how we became the creative and adaptable modern humans of today. In the first episode, NOVA encounters Selam, the amazingly complete remains of a 3 million year old child, packed with clues to why we split from the apes, came down from the trees, and started walking upright. In gripping forensic detail, the second episode investigates the riddle of Turkana Boy a tantalizing fossil of Homo erectus, the first ancestor to leave Africa and colonize the globe. What led to this first great African exodus? In the final episode, Becoming Human explores the origins of us where modern humans and our capacities for art, invention, and survival came from, and what happened when we encountered the mysterious Neanderthals. Crucial new evidence comes from the recent decoding of the Neanderthal genome. Did modern humans interbreed with Neanderthals? Exterminate them? Becoming Human examines why we survived while our other ancestral cousins including Indonesia’s 3 foot high Hobbit died out and poses the question: are we still evolving today?
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