Tertiary period compared with the whole of human history lasted very long. It began about 70 million. And ended about 1 million. Years ago.
The value of the Tertiary period in Earth’s history, especially its flora and fauna, is very large. During this time, there have been great changes in the shape of the globe. Formed extensive mountain areas, sea and bays, the outlines of entire continents changed. There were mountains of the Caucasus, the Carpathians and the Alps, raised the central part of Asia, topped mountain ranges of Pamir and the Himalayas.
At the same time, there were no less important changes in the flora and fauna. The oldest plants, including Giants cycads, tree ferns and giant horsetails, long since given way to a more perfect construction of angiosperms. It began the reign of mammals. It is finished at last, and most important in the history of life on earth, the Events, prepared throughout the whole of progressive evolution of flora and fauna: the end of the Tertiary period because of a long process of development of human ancestors appear next.
Materialistically minded natural scientists, especially Charles Darwin, collected by the middle of the XIX century. Huge amount of material, which allows in general, presenting the appearance of those ancient anthropoid (apes) monkeys who had come direct ancestors of humans. Scientists have found out the main features of living anthropoids and that biological premise that in the struggle for existence, prepared the transition from ape to operate by means of natural selection.
In the XIX century. in deposits relating to the end of the Tertiary period, the remains of the highly developed ancient apes called driopithecus ( “Monkey wood” – – the tree and “pitekos” monkey, ie, literally from the Greek word “drio”..) have been found. Driopithecus was the common ancestor of humans and African great apes of our time – gorillas and chimpanzees. “Darwinian driopithecus” discovered in 1902 in Australia, three molars are so many similarities with the human that the near relationship with this ancient ape-man is beyond doubt.
The discovery of bones driopithecus was a brilliant confirmation of the materialist theory of Darwin on the origin of man from ancient ape, since the first time gave a concrete idea of how really had to look these monkeys – the ancestors of humans.
In the future, the number of such discoveries continued to grow steadily. They are more and more filled the abyss, which sought to dig between man and the rest of the organic world of idealistic scientists are trying to maintain dilapidated Biblical legend about the creation of man “in the image and likeness of God.” In the north of India in tertiary layers Sivalik hills were found, for example, fragments of the jaw Ramapithecus, ancient anthropoid apes, closer to man than driopithecus. It was different from all other apes that her teeth were not given forward than the other teeth. Look Ramapithecus was thus less than the mammal-like, even more similar to the human. On the territory of South Africa in 1924 it was found even more interesting to highlight the issue of human remains of ancestors of the new anthropoid – Australopithecus (Sushchev name of this comes from the words “Australis” – South and “pitekos” – a monkey, and can be translated as “southern ape. “). Later, in 1935-1951 years. The remains of at least 30 species of monkeys were found. As it turned out, Australopithecus in its structure was closer to man than any other known to science, including those now living apes. Pelvis and thighbones of Australopithecus close to a human; australopithecines largely moved on two feet in an upright or nearly upright.
The reason for the transition to upright posture of Australopithecus is due to the general conditions of life and the struggle for existence. During the preceding hundred millennia monkeys, unlike animals, leading terrestrial life were the four-beings use its limbs, especially the front, just for grasping movements. Ho, unlike other monkeys that lived in trees in the rainforest, moving through the trees with the help of all four limbs and tail, Australopithecus lived in areas already in those days almost treeless and semi-desert – in the west and in the center of South Africa. These conditions determined the transition from climbing trees to terrestrial life, mobility with the help of some of the lower extremities.
This is indicated by the structure of the upper limb bones of Australopithecus. His thumb opposed to the rest of the fingers and thumb unlike that of modern apes has been relatively large. Therefore, the australopithecines could easily perform their own hands grasping such operations, which are difficult or inaccessible to our contemporary apes