You are here

One Species, Living Worldwide

The billions of human beings living today all belong to one speciesHomo sapiens.

As in all species, there is variation among individual human beings, from size and shape to skin tone and eye color. But we are much more alike than we are different. We are, in fact, remarkably similar. The DNA of all human beings living today is 99.9% alike.

We all have roots extending back 300,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa, and back more than 6 million years to the evolution of the earliest human species in Africa. This amazing story of adaptation and survival is written in the language of our genes, in every cell of our bodies—as well as in the fossil and behavioral evidence.

This ancient heritage is yours.

Explore the origins of modern humans in Africa about 300,000 years ago and celebrate our species’ epic journey around the world in this video: "One Species, Living Worldwide."

[Please note that this video has not been updated to reflect recent information about the date of the origin of Homo sapiens at 300,000 years ago, not 200,000 years ago.]

Page last updated: January 15, 2019