Apparently human evolution was not quite so clear-cut and smooth as scientists, and most evolutionists have come to believe, in fact Rick Potts, paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian, is willing to bet that all the traits that define us as humans today did not all come together all at once, under the genus Homo, rather that there is good chance that there were numerous versions of us once we actually reached the Savannah.
“Human features were selected for adaptability, but our earlier ancestors show there have always been limits to that.”- Potts
In short the fossil evidence that the Smithsonian anthropologist and his team have uncovered seems to point to the fact that our traits, from limb size to the form of our skulls all evolved within separate genuses, and that the normal “human animal” that we are accustomed to only truly took shape far more recently than originally believed.
The “new narrative” as Potts calls it is meant to show that human evolved in Africa in a “piecemeal fashion” according to the Smithsonian. Potts attributes this due to the climatic and environmental factors that played a role in the evolution of different traits, which actually shows our ancestors’ amazing ability to adapt quickly and survive in any conditions. In fact Michaela Jemison of the Smithsonian said that it was due to this “flexibility” that humans have been able to populate Earth in such a rapid an efficient fashion.
It seems that as anthropologists uncover more fossils a great deal more is discovered about our ancestors and past, things of course which provide a further layer of complexity to our understanding of our evolution and ultimately ourselves. If it is true, as the evidence seems to suggest, that human evolution was not quite so linear as we have come to believe, it seems that there are also a great deal more of questions that only come up with fossil discoveries.