Gift of the gab
1.6 million – 600,000 years ago
All great apes have air sacs on their vocal tracts, which let them make loud bellows. But humans don’t, because the air sacs make it impossible to produce different vowel sounds. Our ancestors apparently lost them before we diverged from our Neanderthal cousins, suggesting the Neanderthals could also speak.
See other: What Makes Humans Human?