The Development of the First People

Hominids developed differently from other animals, mainly because of their much larger brains. They used intellectual knowledge and reasoning to share ideas and techniques with each other.  They also had social skills that animals lacked and these qualities helped them to develop as a species and begin to organize their lifestyles in ways that would best suit them to provide food, shelter, and other necessities of survival.

Aside from larger brains, hominids also had voice boxes that differed from those of animals and were capable of creating a larger variety of sounds. This helped with communication (Judge, 2).  Their complex voice boxes enabled them not only to share ideas with each other, but also to raise and teach their children.

Hominids also walked on two feet, as opposed to animals that walked on four. This was advantageous because it enabled hominids to have two free hands which could be used for other things. With their free hands, hominids were able to make tools, hunt, and build places for shelter.

While the more extensive voice boxes and use of two arms and two legs instead of four were both essential to the development of the hominid, the most important advantage hominids had over animals was absolutely their much larger brains. This difference was crucial in allowing hominids to be capable of thought processes and developing ideas and then passing them on to others. The creation of fire, for example, was passed on from one hominid to another, and with it came better ways to cook meat, cook plants, provide light in the nighttime, and keep warm (Judge,5).

Hominids continued to share information and skills with each other, and this led to the formation of groups. An individual was capable of accomplishing much less than that of a group of hominids working together. The main reasons for forming these groups were for both protection and cooperation They worked with each other to accomplish things that an individual would not have the capability of doing on his own, such as the capture of large animals.

They also passed on knowledge and techniques to their young, and this encouraged future generations to be successful. As these young offspring learned from their elders and expanded upon the knowledge that they were taught, they were able to find means of hunting more effectively and getting “warmer clothes and larger amounts of food” (Judge,6). This was another way that hominids developed faster than animals, and passed on their knowledge to their young, and it was again due to their much larger brains.

Not all hominids were given the same jobs or viewed as equals among the group. There was a differentiation of roles in the community based on gender.  The males were the hunters and fighters while the females were responsible for staying home, gathering food,  and caring for their young. It is a common claim that women were seen as more valuable and more essential to the group because they were the ones who could provide children.  For this reason, many claim, it was the men who took on the “more dangerous duties of hunting and defending the camp.”

There are numerous other  reasons why men might have been the hunters and women assigned to staying home with the young.  For one, as a generalization, men are naturally stronger than women and it is in their nature to be more aggressive and go out and hunt. For another, women who were pregnant could not go out and hunt because of their condition, which forced them to stay at home and take on the less physical activities of gathering berries and nuts and nurturing their young.

While hominids developed much differently from animals, they started using their advantages to form ideas and share them with others. They learned quickly that they could do more as a group than they could on their own, and so they often banded together. Once in these groups, they learned that for various reasons men were more inclined to do one kind of work and women another. In these ways, hominids first developed abstract thinking and ideas that would benefit the species and passed the ideas on from one generation to the next.


1.Judge, Edward H., 2009, Connections, A World History, Volume One, to 1650

Vango Books, Pearson Education Inc, New Jersey