So far we have unearthed fossil evidence from more than 20 different human-like species, known as hominins, who are more closely related to humans than any of the apes alive today.
Meet some of our oldest relatives below and discover what insights they can provide about our own evolution.
Nicknamed 'the hobbit' due to its diminutive stature after it was discovered in 2003, this human species was alive as little as 17,000 years ago. Find out about this extraordinary find.
Denisovans are a recently discovered group of humans from Asia and, along with Neanderthals, are our closest extinct relatives. An astonishing genetic link has revealed that they interbred with some populations of modern humans.
Our close relative evolved in Europe and Asia while we were evolving in Africa. Find out about their lifestyle and theories about why they died out while we survived, plus watch an animation.
Although these skilled hunter-gatherers died out around 39,000 years ago, with augmented reality you can now bring one to life in 3D in your home.
Thought of as distinctly human, explore what fossil remains have revealed about Homo heidelbergensis and why it may be the ancestor to our own species, Homo sapiens.
Living in Spain around 800,000 years ago, Homo antecessor was one of the earliest human species in Europe. Recent finds suggest they may have been the first people to venture into Britain.
Homo erectus was a long-lived species surviving from 1.8 million to as late as 200,000 years ago. This hominin was the first to have human-like body proportions and the first known to have migrated out of Africa.
Australopithecus africanus was the first australopithecine discovered, beginning a revolution in our understanding about what it means to be human.
Australopithecus afarensis is one of the best-known early hominid species thanks to an extraordinary fossil skeleton known as Lucy. Find out what Lucy has been able to reveal about her species.
Australopithecus afarensis is one of the oldest early human relatives known to walk upright on 2 legs. Now, with augmented reality, you can watch the most famous individual, Lucy, walking around your room.
Once believed to be the 'missing link' between apes and humans, Piltdown Man was exposed as an audacious fraud.
Find out about the key suspects and research that could finally reveal the truth.
Explore more than 650 million years of Earth's extraordinary history with our first app for iPad, NHM Evolution.
Learn about more than 800 creatures and plants, examine spectacular 360° high definition fossil images and watch specially-commissioned videos of Museum experts discussing the latest evolutionary theories.