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CONTENTS of entire timeline

CONTENTS of 59,999,999 BC- 51,000 BC Large land and aquatic mammals appear; many kinds of primates appear (almost as many go extinct); an island continent finally disappears for good; the Mediterranean valley turns into the Mediterranean Sea; human beings emerge, develop housing, clothes, lamps, and drugs, breed dogs, use horses; Mars dies (or goes dormant)

This page last updated on or about 10-31-05
a - j r m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l


Approximately 2,000,000 BC -1,700,000 BC: At least some australopithecines are practicing cannibals at this time; Homo erectus is using toothpicks

-- "Who are we having for dinner this evening, dear?" Connected, Electronic Telegraph ["http://www.telegraph.co.uk/"], 17 June 1999, Telegraph Group Limited

Using the term "cannibals" may not be quite fair, due to the often difficult time the species has surviving, and their long term legacy as scavengers. It may be that instances of eating one another are usually due to someone in the family dying of natural causes or predator attack, and the group is simply exploiting the body as a food source in the aftermath. Keep in mind that burial after death is not yet practiced; so if a family doesn't eat its own it is merely leaving the meat for other scavengers or predators to devour (and so thereby encouraging predation or stalking of themselves or their kin at the same time). Total population numbers of hominids are sufficiently low that lengthy survival via cannibalism is virtually impossible; most hominids might never see more than a hundred others of their own kind during their entire lives.

Homo erectus seems to be using toothpicks by around 1.8 million BC. Modern 20th/21st century apes do not use toothpicks.

-- First pick, From New Scientist magazine, 22 April 2000

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