If you look back at your parents and grandparents, there's probably a really strong resemblance.
Looking back to their grandparents, however, the family resemblance starts to fade. Appearances change little by little with every subsequent generation. It's not easy to see how our species changes when looking at a few generations; the real fun starts to happen when looking back at tens of thousands of generations.
Thanks to an animation by Jurian Möller of the Netherlands, we can sit back and check out nearly 550 million years of human evolution pass before our eyes in about a minute. Möller has also put these drawings into a book titled Evo that can be stretched out over 100 feet to take in everything at once.
Check out how much things change by going back 95,000 generations (about 2 million years):
This next jump spans 39 million years, bringing us from hominid, through our great ape ancestors, to a time when "dry nosed primate" was the best way to describe our grandfathers, 3.4 million generations ago.
The next leap covers over 200 million years, taking us from primates back to the earliest mammals that lived, over 90 million great grandfathers ago.
This is when it gets a little more difficult to picture our ancient ancestors. Before mammals, our ancestors emerged from reptiles, amphibians, lobed-fin fish, to much smaller animals in the sea.
Check out the amazing animation below, encompassing over 317,000,000 generations of human evolution.
[Header image: screen shot via Jurian Möller]