What Makes Us Unique?



9 Questions

What is the estimated combined biomass of all humans on Earth as of 2018?

Which period saw the rise of the Ottoman Empire and the final defeat of the Byzantine Empire?

Which of the following is NOT one of the human body's various systems?

What is the estimated number of languages currently in use?

Which of the following is NOT a factor that influences body size?

What is the name of the theory that explains human motivation?

Which of the following statements about human skin pigmentation is true?

Which of the following is NOT a stage of the human life span?

What is the rate of homicide in societies that have legal systems and strong cultural attitudes against violence?


Summary Title: Humans and Their Evolution

  • Humans are the most common and widespread species of primate in the great ape family Hominidae, characterized by their bipedalism and high intelligence.

  • Humans' large brain and resulting cognitive skills have allowed them to thrive in a variety of environments and develop complex societies and civilizations.

  • Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states.

  • Humans are sexually dimorphic: generally, males have greater body strength and females have a higher body fat percentage.

  • The genus Homo evolved from Australopithecus, and Homo sapiens emerged in Africa around 300,000 years ago.

  • Humans began exhibiting behavioral modernity about 160,000–60,000 years ago.

  • The "out of Africa" migration took place in at least two waves, the first around 130,000 to 100,000 years ago, the second (Southern Dispersal) around 70,000 to 50,000 years ago.

  • Human evolution involved interbreeding between related species, and several genes of Neanderthal origin are present among all non sub-Saharan African populations.

  • Until about 12,000 years ago, all humans lived as hunter-gatherers. The Neolithic Revolution (the invention of agriculture) first took place in Southwest Asia and spread through large parts of the Old World over the following millennia.

  • The early modern period in Europe and the Near East (c. 1450–1800) began with the final defeat of the Byzantine Empire, and the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

  • The late modern period (1800–present) saw the Technological and Industrial Revolution bring such discoveries as imaging technology, major innovations in transport and energy development.

  • Humans are one of the most adaptable species, found in almost all regions of the world, including tropical rainforest, arid desert, extremely cold arctic regions, and heavily polluted cities.

  • Human settlements continue to be vulnerable to natural disasters, especially those placed in hazardous locations and with low quality of construction.Human Biology, Life Cycle, Diet, and Biological Variation

  • The human population is not uniformly distributed on the Earth's surface, with most humans living in Asia (61%) and the remainder living in the Americas (14%), Africa (14%), Europe (11%), and Oceania (0.5%).

  • Humans have explored challenging environments such as Antarctica, the deep sea, and outer space, but human habitation within these hostile environments is restrictive and expensive, typically limited in duration and restricted to scientific, military, or industrial expeditions.

  • The human population has grown exponentially, reaching eight billion in November 2022, and the combined biomass of all the humans on Earth in 2018 was estimated at 60 million tons, about 10 times larger than that of all non-domesticated mammals.

  • Most aspects of human physiology are closely homologous to corresponding aspects of animal physiology, and the human body consists of various systems, including the nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal, reproductive, respiratory, and urinary system.

  • Human groups have adopted a range of diets from purely vegan to primarily carnivorous, with human diet prominently reflected in human culture and leading to the development of food science.

  • Until the development of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago, humans employed a hunter-gatherer method as their sole means of food collection, combining stationary food sources with wild game.

  • There is biological variation in the human species, with traits such as blood type, genetic diseases, cranial features, facial features, organ systems, eye color, hair color and texture, height and build, and skin color varying across the globe.

  • The typical height of an adult human is between 1.4 and 1.9 m, although this varies significantly depending on sex, ethnic origin, and family bloodlines.

  • Body size is partly determined by genes and is also significantly influenced by environmental factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep patterns.

  • Populations have adapted genetically to various external factors, such as the genes that allow adult humans to digest lactose present in high frequencies in populations that have long histories of cattle domestication and are more dependent on cow milk.

  • The human life span has been split into various stages ranging from infancy to old age, and the life span of an individual depends on two major factors, genetics and lifestyle choices.

  • Childhood malnutrition is common and contributes to the global burden of disease, and global food distribution is not even, with obesity among some human populations increasing rapidly, leading to health complications and increased mortality in some developed and a few developing countries.Summary Title: The Unique Characteristics and Behaviors of Humans

  • Human skin pigmentation varies based on geographical location and evolved as protection against ultraviolet solar radiation.

  • Genetic data shows that two people from the same population group are almost as different from each other as two people from any two different population groups.

  • Human populations native to the African continent are the most genetically diverse, and genetic diversity decreases with migratory distance from Africa.

  • Humans are divided into male and female sexes, with males having more upper and lower body strength and deeper voices, while females have a longer lifespan and lighter skin.

  • The human brain controls the peripheral nervous system, and the prefrontal cortex is associated with higher cognition.

  • Humans may be the only animals with episodic memory, flexibility in facial expressions, and emotional tears.

  • Humans require an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per day and dream during the REM phase of sleep.

  • Consciousness and thought are central to psychology, with cognition being the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding.

  • Human motivation is not yet wholly understood, but Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a well-established theory.

  • Emotions have a significant influence on human behavior and their ability to learn, with happiness being a human emotional condition.

  • Human language is unique in its open and modality-independent nature, and there are approximately six thousand different languages currently in use.

  • Humans engage in various forms of art, including visual, literary, music, and dance, which may have given early humans an evolutionary advantage.Overview of Human History

  • Humans have evolved over millions of years and have become the dominant species on Earth.

  • The Neolithic Revolution was a major turning point in human history, where humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to agriculture.

  • Humans have made significant advancements in technology, including paper, printing press, gunpowder, the compass, and the invention of automated machines during the Industrial Revolution.

  • Religion and spirituality have been a part of human history for thousands of years, with evidence of religious behavior dating back to the Middle Paleolithic era.

  • Philosophy and science have played a significant role in human intellectual history, with the scientific method being a process of observation and experimentation that differentiates science from pseudoscience.

  • Society is the system of organizations and institutions arising from interaction between humans, and humans are highly social and tend to live in large complex social groups.

  • Gender identities and gender roles have been a part of human societies, with men enjoying more rights and privileges than women in most societies, both today and in the past.

  • Kinship is the organization, recognition, and classification of social relationships based on relations between parents, children, and other descendants, and relations through marriage.

  • Ethnicity is a social category that identifies together as a group based on shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups.

  • Governments create laws and policies that affect the citizens that they govern, and there have been many forms of government throughout human history.

  • Trade, the voluntary exchange of goods and services, is seen as a characteristic that differentiates humans from other animals, and early human economies were more likely to be based around gift-giving.

  • Humans have a history of violence, with rates of homicide in societies that have legal systems and strong cultural attitudes against violence being about 0.01%. War has had a high cost on human life.


Do you know what makes humans unique in the animal kingdom? This quiz will test your knowledge of human biology, evolution, history, and behavior. Learn about the characteristics and behaviors that make humans stand out, such as our highly adaptable nature, complex societies, advanced cognitive skills, and cultural expressions through art and language. Explore the key events and milestones in human history, from the Neolithic Revolution to the advancements of the Industrial Revolution and modern times. Take this quiz to discover fascinating facts about what makes us

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