13 – Australopiths and Homo sharing the landscape

2.8 million to 800,000 years ago

At just around 2.0 million years ago, there were three very different types of ancient human ancestors roaming the same small landscape in southern Africa—Homo, Paranthropus, and Australopithecus. This was not the only time that this has happened in the history of human evolution. How these ancient creatures shared the landscape and whether they interacted is not known. Our own genus Homo is the only lineage to survive and evolve into modern humans.

Image credit Christopher Campisano composite image/Shutterstock.


    Pleistocene2.58 million to 11,700 years ago

Environmental and Climate Changes

  • Pleistocene glaciation 2.5 Ma
  • Intensification of cold glacial/warm interglacial cycles 1.2 Ma to 600,000 Ya
  • Earth’s climate remains relatively stable with alternating glacial and interglacial periods

Changing Species