Hominins are members of the ape species that are bipedal, and remain bipedal. This means that they use only two legs for walking instead of walking on all four limbs, like modern apes do. Hominins have been seen for at least 5 million years, although the exact start of bipedalism is still unknown.
One of the most interesting traits of the early hominins was seen in the Laetoli footprints. These footprints were created at least 3.75 million years ago. These footprints, found in Laetoli, Tanzania show bipedalism. The footprints also indicated that there were two hominins walking together next to each other. This is seen from the non-divergent big toe, heel strike and the developed arch. The heel strike means that the hominins landed on their heels first, and then pushed off with their toes. This is incredibly similar, even the same, to how modern humans walk today. This means that the strides are similar to human strides. This illustrates a trait that can be seen today in modern humans, showing direct relations to earlier hominins, as well as specific and direct evidence for evolution.
Another incredibly interesting trait comes from A. garhi which has features that are similar to modern humans, or the genus Homo. The teeth are very similar. Both of the A. garhi genus and the genus Homo have large front teeth. This is the opposite of other types of hominins, like the Paranthropotus, which have incredibly large back molars and very small front teeth. Both of these genus also have similar premolar shapes. In addition to that, the ratios of arm and leg length are, again, quite similar to the modern genus homo. This enforces the idea of the bipedalism that has already been seen for several millennia.
In looking at traits of hominins, it is very easy to see evidence for human evolution. As mentioned in the video, the majority of species and genus tend to die out because of mal-adapted traits. However, in looking at genus that have evolved and have been able to pass on their genes, evolution becomes clear. Modern humans are most similar to those genus and species which have been able to survive the longest and been able to pass their genes on. For example, Paranthropotus, who I have mentioned before, had huge back molars and tiny front teeth. This is very unlike the teeth that we have today. These teeth had very strong pressure and created a very strong jaw, but the energy needed to use them was not enough to justify having them. This meant that this genus died out because this type of set of teeth was not entirely useful. This is why this set of teeth is not seen today.
Fossilized skeletal remains of early human ancestors can help anthropologists reconstruct and learn from the past because it is a very obvious way to see what kinds of traits were seen in the past that are seen today as well. Fossilized remains of things such as skulls can be compared to modern human skulls today to see similarities and differences. They can also be compared with each other to see the evolution of things such as the size of the brain. This is why skeletal remains are so important.