EGU22-6824, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Early hominins were variability avoiders and diversity seekers

Elke Zeller1,2, Axel Timmermann1,2, Kyung-Soon Yun1,2, and Pasqual Raia3
Elke Zeller et al.
  • 1Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science, Busan, South Korea
  • 2Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea
  • 3DiSTAR, Napoli Università di Napoli Federico II, Monte Sant’Angelo, Italy

Climate influenced the evolution of hominins, though the mechanisms and scales are still not well understood. We know that long-term climatic variations, such as wet-dry climate cycles and sea-level change, can change landscapes dramatically. Changes in landscapes can drive early hominins to find different locations to settle, but what kind of environments did they prefer and what role did changing climates play in all this? To research this question, we modeled the climate of the past 3 million years using CESM, made a best estimate of the global biome landscape, and compared the results to an extensive archeological database of hominin findings.

This analysis shows us that early hominins living in Africa predominantly lived in open habitats. When hominins expanded northwards, they adapted to more forested landscapes. While they were able to adapt, most hominin locations were found in areas with less variability and higher local biome diversity, suggesting that hominins prefer stable environmental conditions with a variety of resources nearby. This preference for stability and a landscape that offers diverse biomes is seen for all hominins regardless of species.

How to cite: Zeller, E., Timmermann, A., Yun, K.-S., and Raia, P.: Early hominins were variability avoiders and diversity seekers, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6824,, 2022.