Modern humans (Homo sapiens)

0.2 million years
or 5 cm to today

Geolo­gical era: Ceno­zoic / Quaternary

One of the prede­cessor species of man (Homo erectus) emig­rates to Europe 200 000 years ago, where it devel­ops into a Neander­thal. In Africa, it gives rise to modern man (Homo sapi­ens), who comes to Europe 40 000 years ago. He conqueres the earth with his tools and his abil­ity to control fire and becomes the man of today. He strongly changes the envir­on­ment and will prob­ably contrib­ute to the seventh great mass extinc­tion of the earth’s history.

Low sea levels allowed Australia to be colon­ized from Papua New Guinea about 65 000 years ago. Approx­im­ately 15 000 years ago, the retreat of ice on the Amer­ican contin­ent allowed its settle­ment via the Bering Strait. Today, global traffic spreads anim­als and plants all over the world.

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