• Hominins are classified as a tribe (Hominini) of primates, a type of mammal. Hominins are part of the family, or larger group of primates, called hominids. Hominids include orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and human beings. All hominins are hominids, but very few hominids are hominins.

    According to paleontologist Lee Berger, hominins are primates that share characteristics such as "bipedalism, reduced canine size, and increasing brain size."

    The only hominins alive today are human beings. There are many, many extinct hominins, a fraction of which are represented here. Fossilized remains of extinct hominin species have been found in parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia, many dating back millions of years. Launch the GeoStory above to find out more.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    bipedalism Noun

    form of movement where an animal consistently uses two legs for standing or walking.

    extinct Adjective

    no longer existing.

    hominid Noun

    biological family of primates, including humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, and their ancestors.

    hominin Noun

    tribe of the hominid family of primates, distinguished by erect posture, bipedal movement, large cranial capacity, and use of specialized tools. Human beings are the only living hominins.

    primate Noun

    type of mammal, including humans, apes, and monkeys.