Human evolution: from the earliest anthropoids to the first hominids

Better understanding the history and evolution of the human family
and of its successive environments during the last 40 million years

Principal investigators

Type of project

EVAH was a collaborative project funded by the French National Agency for Research, 2009-2013.

Research question

The goal is to bring new elements for the scientific community to adopt a new vision of the humankind history, from the origins of the anthropoids to that of early hominids. It aims at establishing more precisely the causality between environmental changes and the differentiation of morphoanatomical features linked to the evolution and success of our lineage.

Some results

In addition to some major input to the knowledge of the earliest anthropoids and hominids (morphology, diet, phylogeny), our results improved the knowledge of the changes and role of the environments in the emergence and evolution of Primates. The temporal and paleobiogeographical distribution of many mammalian families was improved, and new hypotheses on migration phases were proposed. The input of 3D geometric morphometrics for fossil analysis was reinforced. New partnerships were initiated.


EVAH involved two institutional partners (Collège de France and Laboratoire IPHEP – now PALEVOPRIM) including twenty participants. During this project, many other partners came to enrich this partnership (CEREGE Aix-en-Provence, LSCE Gif-sur-Yvette, Université de Ndjamena, CFEE Addis-Abeba, etc.).

Iconic publications

Chaimanee Y., Chavasseau O., Beard K. C., Aung Aung Kyaw, Aung Naing Soe, Chit Sein, Lazzari V., Marivaux L., Marandat B., Myat Swe, Rugbumrung M., Thit Lwin, Valentin X., Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein, Jaeger, J.-J. (2012) Late middle Eocene primate from Myanmar and the initial anthropoid colonization of Africa, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (26) 10293-10297.

Jaeger J.-J., Beard C., Chaimanee Y., Salem M., Benammi M., Hlal O., Coster P., Bilal A.A., Duringer Ph., Schuster M., Valentin X., Marandat B., Marivaux L., Métais E., Hammuda O., Brunet M. (2010) Late middle Eocene epoch of Libya yields earliest known radiation of African anthropoids, Nature 467 1095-1098.

Lebatard A.E., Bourles D., Braucher R., Arnold M., Duringer P., Jolivet M., Moussa A., Deschamps P., Roquin C., Carcaillet J., Schuster M., Lihoreau F., Likius A., Mackaye H.T., Vignaud P. & Brunet M. (2010) Application of the authigenic 10Be/9Be dating method to continental sediments: Reconstruction of the Mio-Pleistocene sedimentary sequence in the early hominid fossiliferous areas of the northern Chad Basin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 297 : 57-70.

Lee-Thorpe J., Andossa L., Mackaye H.T., Vignaud P., Sponheimer M., Brunet M. (2012) Isotopic evidence for an early shift to C4 resources by Pliocene hominins in Chad. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50) : 20369-20372.

Licht, M. van Cappelle, H. A. Abels, J.B. Ladant, J. Trabucho-Alexandre, C. France-Lanord, Y. Donnadieu, J. Vandenberghe, T. Rigaudier, C. Lécuyer, D. Terry Jr., R. Adriaens, A. Boura, Z. Guo, Aung Naing Soe, J. Quade, G. Dupont-Nivet, J.-J. Jaeger (2014) Asian monsoons in a late Eocene greenhouse world. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13704.



Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 45 37 53

Guylaine REYNAUD

Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 45 37 26

Fax : +33.(0)5 49 45 40 17


Université de Poitiers – UFR SFA


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