Today there are 7.5 billion of us and we are becoming a cumbersome presence for the planet, but for millions of years we ran the risk of becoming extinct. Thanks to a study of fossils, of objects left by our ancestors and prehistoric cousins and (recently) of DNA, many aspects of this adventurous story are beginning to become clearer. We know that we all come from Africa; that evolution has endowed us with a skeleton with several defects but also a great advantage, a very large brain; that until recently our skin was dark; and that we have spread across the planet through a series of migrations that today we can reconstruct with a certain precision. In an age where the topic of roots and the different rights that derive from having them in one place instead of another dominates social debate, it is worth noting that the main characteristic that has guaranteed the biological success of our species was instead its great mobility and ability to adapt to very different environments, both physical and cultural.
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