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This article is from the In-Depth Report The Human Evolution Issue—2014
See Inside Scientific American Volume 311, Issue 3

What Makes Humans Special?

A graphical tour of our evolutionary advantages starts with anatomy

HALLMARK TRAITS of the human body did not all arise anew in our species. Instead they emerged piecemeal in our forebears over millions of years. Many of these traits seem to have helped support two defining trends in our evolution: upright locomotion and tool use.

More on this topic:
Our Secret Evolutionary Weapon: Monogamy

Why Humans and Other Primates Cooperate

What Makes Humans Different Than Any Other Species

This article was originally published with the title "What Makes Us Special."

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