The American Museum of Natural History houses thousands of species. A trip to the Hall of Human Origins will provide one with ample knowledge about the evolution of mankind. The hall informs us on what the term human really means. This section of the museum contains human growth account arranged chronologically from ancient times to modern times. There are human bones, skulls and tools that fully clarify that present man did not come out of nowhere but developed slowly from simple life forms to complex life forms. The tools and paintings are a good example of work of art done by early man. This section also contains full body skeletons of earlier hominids. These skeletons enable one to create a distinction of how man evolved.
The Hall of Human Origins displays famous human evidence. Human skulls of different species and sizes are clearly indicated. There are skulls of various genus arranged lineally according to the time the species of the skull lived. The skulls of earlier years appear small compared to those of later years. This confirms that the brain capacity of the earlier hominids was less than that of later hominids. Thus the lower brain capacity means that this hominid was not more advanced in his way of thinking.
The Skull of Homo habilis is less when compared to that of Homo sapiens who is the modern man. This means that Homo habilis was less intelligent when compared to Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens were able to perform complex tasks. This is seen in the efficient way tools made by Homo sapiens functioned. This further proves that Homo sapiens lived a well modified life than Homo habilis. Thus the efficiency of the crude stone tools made by Homo habilis is less than the efficiency of the present tools designed in Homo sapiens’ way.
There are life reconstructions of eight well labeled hominid heads. These show varying features. For example, earlier hominids show a flat nose and protruding eye brows. This is separate from the modern man who has a balanced face structure. Paranthropus boisei and Homo Florensiesis are good examples. The Paranthropus boisei reconstruction has big cheek bones when compared to that of Homo Florensiesis. This size of the cheek bones confirms that this species fed mostly on tough foods. These cheekbones were thus useful in grinding these tough foods. The Homo Florensiesis head reconstruction appears small. This shows that this species had a small brain capacity thus his way of life was not advanced as that of Paranthropus boisei. We can conclude that maybe his tools were very crude that those of Paranthropus boisei.
A sculpture of full bodied paranthropus boisei shows a strong and tall human form. This adopted him to a mode of living that included hunting. There is also a cranium of Homo erectus carrying a carcass. It indicates that Homo erectus had a big head, big eyes and clearly raised eyebrows. These perhaps were helpful when it came to the search of untamed food. The big head is an indication of a bigger brain that was useful in developing the technology of Homo erectus. This technology includes the discovery of fire and better tools. A reproduction of the full Australopithecus afarensis is also among the many human ancestors. His head is small showing that his brain capacity was also small. This species came before Homo erectus. His living style was primitive. This certainly shows that development of man came with time.
There are full skeletons of Homo erectus and Homo Neanderthalensis. The Neanderthalensis skeleton is shorter when compared to that of Homo erectus. This is because Neanderthandal man lived in the cold areas of Europe. His height helped him to maintain high temperature. The size of Homo erectus compares to that of modern man because of his brain capacity. These brains allowed him to develop many inventions that adopted him to his way of life. The Skeletons displayed in this section are of varying height. Homo sapiens are shorter than his ancestors. This translates to the fact that earlier humans needed the advantage of this height for their survival in terms of food and protection. This height enabled them to pluck wild fruits and see an enemy that may be approaching.
The art works found in this section were designed with a lot of creativity. This artwork includes bronze carvings, tools and paintings. “The Sorcerer” (Coyne 275) is a painting of a deer displayed in this section. These elements are important since they show that human evolution was not only an increase or reduction in mass, there was advancement in the way of thinking. Stone tools of varying sizes from different places are also found in this section. They prove that stone technology developed worldwide and though great distance separated early human forms, their way of thinking was somehow similar. This can also be related to the modern world where technology is seen worldwide and not in a single place of the globe.
Coyne, Jerry, A. Why Evolution is true. New York: Viking Adult Publishers. 2009.
The Washington Post. David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins opens at the Museum of Natural
History. Retrieved on 4th April, 2011 from < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/gallery/2010/03/17/GA2010031702837.htm > l