After Darwin put forward the theory of evolution, we have a new understanding of the origin of life on earth and the origin of human beings. Progressive theory tells us that the earliest life on earth is just some simple single celled primitive life. It is such simple primitive life that after continuous evolution, it grows up step by step and enriches the marine biosphere.
With the development of marine life, some amphibians began to escape from the sea and live on land, becoming the earliest ancestors of land life. After the emergence of terrestrial life, it has gone through hundreds of millions of years of evolution, with the birth of human ancestors. After millions of years of evolution, the birth of modern human was born.
From this we can see that life is really the most mysterious thing in the universe, and the evolution of life makes us feel incredible. Anything that can’t happen is likely to appear in the evolution of life. Human beings are also a member of mammals, but we have intelligent brains and have evolved into advanced intelligent life.
As early as tens of millions of years ago, humans and the primates on the earth now have a common ancestor, they are the ancient ape. Later, the ancient ape made two choices on the way of evolution, most of them still evolved along the original direction of power and became modern primates. A small part of the selection went to the road of intelligent evolution, and after a long evolution, it became a modern human.
There were two evolutionary paths for ancient apes tens of millions of years ago. Different evolutionary paths also made some obvious differences in the evolution of ancient apes. Both humans and primates share the same primitive ancestor, the ancient ape. Although humans and other primates have some similarities, they are not very different in appearance. The most obvious thing is that primates have long hair, which inherits the characteristics of the ancient ape.
But the human body does not have these long body hair, our cold is to rely on clothing, and primates rely on long body hair. So some people have such a question: humans and primates have a common ancestor of ancient apes, but why did humans shed their long body hair in the process of evolution?
Long body hair is very common in the animal world, which shows that long hair is very important for the survival of animals. This is an external feature evolved by animals in order to adapt to the nature, which can make animals better survive in the cold environment. Humans evolved from the ancient ape, which also has very thick body hair.
After having thick body hair, we can keep warm and survive better in winter. Human beings did not have clothes millions of years ago. If they lost their long hair, they would not have the ability to keep warm. The survival of human ancestors in winter would be more difficult.
The survival law of nature is the survival of the fittest. Since human beings can embark on the road of intelligent evolution, nature must be very preferential and will not let human beings fall into a desperate situation. In the natural environment, human ancestors have the same body hair as the ancient ape, which should be the right choice for human beings. But why did they finally take off the long body hair, making it more difficult to keep out of the cold?
In fact, to solve the mystery of this problem, we need to have a general understanding of the road of human evolution. After you understand this, you will understand why our ancestors chose to take off their long body hair. As we said before, tens of millions of years ago, some of the ancient apes embarked on the road of intelligent evolution. Why did they choose this road? Is intelligent evolution the best choice for animals?
In fact, from the perspective of the survival law of the fittest in nature, the road of wisdom evolution is a very difficult one. Why do you say that? We all know that the evolution of wisdom is actually the evolution of the brain, that is, the substantial increase in the proportion of brain capacity. Although the brain is a very small structure in the human body, it needs a lot of energy.
The more brain capacity, the more energy the brain needs to run, but in nature, food is the basis of our survival. After the brain’s demand for energy has increased dramatically, we need more food to provide, and it’s not easy to get food in the animal kingdom. If people don’t eat for a day, they will be dizzy with hunger.
But in the animal world, animals often need to often do not eat, and the body can store more energy, so that organisms can starve longer. But if the brain is on the way of intelligent evolution, it needs a lot of energy support every day and needs to keep looking for food. It’s not easy for animals to survive, so creatures will not choose to go on the road of intelligent evolution before they have no way.
Why did part of the ancient ape go this way again? In fact, there is no way. When we look at the world, we will find that there is a huge fault zone on the land – the East African Rift Valley. This rift valley was formed by plate movement, that is, about 3000 years ago, this place underwent a large plate movement lasting for 25 million years.
In this process, the crust on the east side of the Rift Valley continued to rise, which gradually changed the region from a lush forest to a grassland with few trees. Unfortunately, our ancestors lived on the east side of the rift valley. The forest has turned into grassland, which makes the ancient ape lose the comfortable and stable environment.
The ancient ape did not have a tall and strong body, nor the ability to run fast. Originally, it lived in the forest, could live in trees, and no animals could threaten them. However, after arriving at the plain, everything changed. The ancient ape became the animal at the bottom of the food chain on the grassland. It was often attacked by various beasts, and the whole race was facing the risk of extinction.
In this case, the ancient ape had to embark on the road of wisdom evolution. In fact, this road is also a helpless choice for the ancient ape to adapt to grassland life. The ancient ape was a relatively intelligent animal tens of millions of years ago. Its brain volume is larger than that of other animals, and it also has very flexible forelimbs.
In order to avoid being attacked by beasts, the ancient ape began to learn to walk upright. After standing up, it had a broader vision and could see far away. In this way, we can find the arrival of the beast in advance, and then effectively reduce the risk of being suddenly attacked by the beast. In this way, the ancient ape learned to walk upright and liberate its forelimbs.
Walking upright is very conducive to the rapid evolution of the brain. They have gradually learned to use their hands to make the tools they need. This time also marks the initial evolution of ancient apes into intelligent life. Although I have learned to walk upright and make some simple tools, it is still very difficult to get food on the grassland.
Carnivorous beasts are creatures that ancient apes avoid. Naturally, they dare not take the initiative to provoke them, so they can choose herbivorous animals. However, it is not so easy to capture these herbivores. Animals are very alert and have no chance to attack with their ancestors. You can’t live without food, so what?
The ancient ape thought of the last way, that is to compare endurance with these animals. The ancestors of human race after herbivores on the grassland. With the passage of time, the physical strength of herbivores will not be able to run. In the end, they can only be captured by human ancestors and become food. This is one of the most important hunting methods of early humans. By this way, our ancestors had food and survived.
Running for a long time is bound to sweat a lot, and the heat in the body needs to be released, otherwise it is easy to get sick. In order to dissipate the heat generated by running, our ancestors gradually removed the body hair covering our whole body, and evolved sweat glands all over our body.
With better heat dissipation capacity, the running endurance of human ancestors is stronger, and it is easier to hunt herbivores, and the survival guarantee is greatly improved. In order to eat, our ancestors had to take off their body hair, but without it, keeping warm became a big problem. So intelligent human ancestors made animal skin into simple clothes to keep warm, which is the earliest clothing of human.
In later days, clothing was given more meaning, and gradually became an indispensable “standard configuration” for human beings. It can be seen that the choice of clothing to keep out the cold is actually a choice that our ancestors had to make in order to survive. If the human ancestors still chose to leave their body hair to protect themselves from the cold at that time, then it would be very difficult for them to survive, and they might eventually disappear in the long history without human beings.