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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