Hello
I am so curious about evolution! I love this site!!

i was wondering if all our organs, legs, mouth, teeth, gentitles etc, evolved waaaay before humans? E.g in another specie, but then as we've evolved into humans natural selection, mutation hs just made them better In us?

thanks

Hi Simone,

When we look at our mammalian cousins, we can see all of the same organs as we have. Some are larger, some are smaller, occasionally some are missing and new ones added, but the basic body plan that humans have was evolved way, way before humans existed. I'm not sure about making them "better" in humans, in some cases they are decidedly worse. For example, we have a larger brain proportionally than most other animals which gives us good thinking-powers, but our vision is actually pretty poor compared to other animals, especially birds. Our sense of smell is also fairly poor compared to other mammals. A better way of thinking about it is that we have inherited an ancient body plan along side all mammals, and our circumstances have adapted it a bit to fit our niche.

Somewhat tangential to the original question perhaps, but this site has a nice run down of features that make humans "special".

http://www.livescience.com/15689-evolut … ecies.html

As John alluded to we are not necessarily unique in possessing some structure or behaviour that is not present in other animals (with the possible exception of blushing perhaps!) but this list highlights some of the ways in which we have diverged most noticeably from our closest relatives (e.g. other primates).