Prehistory

A:

Humans belong to the species Homo sapiens. Earlier humans had a heavier bone structure and a smaller brain capacity. Modern humans are lighter in build and have high foreheads with a large brain capacity.

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  • How did cavemen communicate?

    Q: How did cavemen communicate?

    A: According to archaeologists, Neanderthal people, known colloquially as cavemen, lived in groups with simple social structures, had their own languages and communicated by speaking. Some scientists conclude that analysis of Neanderthal DNA confirms that they possessed the same gene humans have that is associated with the capability for language and speech.
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  • When did the Triassic period begin and end?

    Q: When did the Triassic period begin and end?

    A: The Triassic period began approximately 248 million years ago and ended 206 million years ago; although, some sources date it to be between 251 and 199 million years ago. It was followed by the Jurassic period; it was the first period of the Mesozoic era.
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  • When did the Cenozoic Era begin?

    Q: When did the Cenozoic Era begin?

    A: The Cenozoic Era began about 65 million years ago and continues today. It is the third documented era in the history of the Earth. It is marked by the proliferation of mammals, birds, grasses and flowering plants.
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  • Where did Australopithecus live?

    Q: Where did Australopithecus live?

    A: Australopithecus lived between 2.95 and 3.85 million years ago in East Africa, approximately where Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia exist today. It is believed that Australopithecus survived as a species for approximately 900,000 years before giving way to new hominids.
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  • What are some Stone Age inventions?

    Q: What are some Stone Age inventions?

    A: Some of the earliest inventions of the Stone Age were simple hammerstones that showed evidence of battering, and stone cores, used for a variety of purposes, such as chopping. These stone cores could also produce sharp stone flakes when struck; the stone flakes were in turn used for cutting.
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  • Which species do humans belong to?

    Q: Which species do humans belong to?

    A: Humans belong to the species Homo sapiens. Earlier humans had a heavier bone structure and a smaller brain capacity. Modern humans are lighter in build and have high foreheads with a large brain capacity.
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  • What did homo erectus wear as clothes?

    Q: What did homo erectus wear as clothes?

    A: Homo erectus, meaning upright man, is thought to have worn animal hides and furs taken from animals it hunted for meat. However, no fossilized remains have survived to fully support this theory.
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  • Where did the barbarians come from?

    Q: Where did the barbarians come from?

    A: Barbarians were people who came from anywhere outside of Greece and later Rome. The term is often used to refer to the Germanic and Slavic tribes that attacked Rome during its decline.
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  • Which era occurred just before the current era?

    Q: Which era occurred just before the current era?

    A: The era occurring before the current geologic era was the Mesozoic, which began roughly 245 million years ago and ended about 64 million years ago. The Mesozoic era consisted of three periods; from oldest to more recent, they are the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods.
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  • When did dinosaurs roam the earth?

    Q: When did dinosaurs roam the earth?

    A: Dinosaurs first walked the earth 230 million years ago and dominated the land for 160 million years. They became extinct 65 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
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  • When did the first animals appear on Earth?

    Q: When did the first animals appear on Earth?

    A: The first occurrence of simple animals was approximately 600 million years ago. These were characterized as multi-cellular organisms with basic structures, but no true tissues. An example would be a jellyfish or marine sponge.
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  • When was the Stone Age?

    Q: When was the Stone Age?

    A: The term Stone Age refers to the prehistoric period before the advent of metal-working, when most tools were fashioned from rocks and stones. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the Stone Age lasted about 2.5 million years.
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  • What major events happened during the Jurassic period?

    Q: What major events happened during the Jurassic period?

    A: Major events during the Jurassic included the further breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea, the development of subtropical conditions and larger dinosaurs. The earliest bird also took flight during the late Jurassic, and early mammals emerged that would later dominate the Earth.
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  • When did cavemen exist?

    Q: When did cavemen exist?

    A: What are commonly called cavemen were the early European populations of the Pleistocene. Their remains were first discovered in 1868 inside a cave at a site in France, called Cro-Magnon, that was dated to approximately 30,000 years ago.
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  • Q: How did communication begin?

    A: Prior to the period known as recorded history and before the development of an organized and shared language, interactions between humans were accomplished through a display of emotions, simple counting systems and visual artistic representations, such as cave wall or rock paintings. The roots of what developed into modern communication can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks. Although their civilization contained few individuals who could read and write, the Ancient Greeks raised oral communication to the level of a studied and practiced discipline known as rhetoric, a term first coined by Aristotle.
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  • Q: What are some facts about Neolithic shelters?

    A: During the long Neolithic period, from 6800 to 3200 B.C., shelters were built using thick timber posts, clay and stone for the foundation and walls, while roofs were made from tree trunks, clay and hay. Other characteristics varied, depending on the region and whether the shelter was built during the early, middle or late Neolithic period.
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  • Q: What did early Homo sapiens eat?

    A: Homo sapiens first appear in the fossil record about 200,000 years ago. These early humans were opportunistic omnivores who consumed a variety of foods, including both plants and animals. Prior to this time, ancestral hominid species are thought to have consumed fruit, leaves, bark, insects, root vegetables and meat.
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  • Q: Why do ice ages occur?

    A: Although science can't say for sure, ice ages are thought to be triggered by the interaction between the height of the continents, the circulation of the ocean, the distance of Earth from the sun, the atmosphere's composition and solar output. Scientists say that, as of 2014, the Earth is in the midst of a major cooling period. This cooling period began about 3 million years ago.
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  • Q: What kind of clothing did Neolithic people wear?

    A: Neolithic people wore handmade cloaks, shoes and head-dressings. During the Neolithic transition, textiles, tooling and resources were advancing, allowing for better clothing to be made.
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  • Q: What was the first civilization?

    A: The oldest evidence for a civilization, defined by urban development, social stratification, writing systems and agriculture, comes from the Mesopotamian region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of the Middle East. The region held the city of Uruk, which was one of the earliest cities.
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  • Q: Why are people on Earth?

    A: Human beings are on Earth, as opposed to any of the other planets in the solar system, because it is uniquely able to support the development of life. Some scientists speculate that Earth hosts the only intelligent life in the universe. Others believe there are many other habitable planets.
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