Humans are gifted by evolution with skills and capabilities not found on other ancient humanoids. However, our evolution did not cease as Homo Sapiens are said to become "the last hominin standing" -- meaning, we still evolve all the time.
Human evolution is a long process of change by which people, as the Smithsonian Institution, explained, "originated from apelike ancestors."
Scientific evidence presents both the physical and behavioral characteristics shared by all humans who originated from apelike descendants and evolved over a period of roughly six million years.
One of the oldest defining human characteristics is bipedalism. This means the ability to walk using two legs, which evolved more than four million years ago.
Other important traits of humans like having a large and complex brain, being able to develop and use tools, and the capability for language were developed later on.
According to experts in human origins, many of our advanced traits as humans comprising "complex figurative expression, art, and elaborate cultural diversity," developed primarily during the past centuries.
How Humans Evolve
Early this month, Inverse published an article featuring "how the human body has changed," showing how we may still be adjusting to our ever-changing environment's demands. Below are the 3 ways humans are still evolving:
1. Decreasing Body Temperature
A 98.6-degrees Fahrenheit temperature is usually accepted as our normal body temperature. However, based on research published early this year, a more precise reading "would come out to be roughly 97.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
The study authors examined medical records from the last 200 years, and when all temperatures during these years were averaged together, they discovered that the average body temperatures decreased by 0.7 degrees.
The study's author, Julie Parsonnet, told Inverse, humans are "so much healthier than the 19th-century humans." And yet, he added, we, humans of today, have gotten taller, fatter, and had cooler temperatures.
The author hypothesized that his descending trend could be credited to global drops in inflammation, not to mention "better living conditions."
2. Changes in Genes
Human genes are in a continuous state of change "from one generation to the next." One major instance of this is the increasing genes enabling our lactose tolerance.
Such an upsurge is most likely because most humans in the present time have been drinking milk all their lives.
History has it that the enzyme that enables humans to digest dairy turns off when they reach adulthood. This is the time when we customarily wean off our mother's breast milk.
3. Our Bone, Getting Lighter and Frailer
Despite all our milk consumption, our bones are naturally getting lighter and frailer. Owing to our modern life's sedentary nature, our bones have decreased in terms of strength and density, most probably because of the reduction in our physical activity.
Scientists believe such a weakening began around 12,000 years ago, when humans shifted from hunting to stable farming.
The human race keeps transforming. As humans have changed lifestyles, from farming to working in factories to operating office drones, we indeed have evolved accordingly.
According to Princeton University's Professor Joshua Akey, humans are "not immune to the effects of natural selection." He added, our environment is definitely different "than it was even a century ago.
Furthermore, he added, "and it is not hard to imagine things like gene-culture evolution, playing an even more prominent role in the future of human evolution."
Check out more news and information on Human Evolution on Science Times.