Homo erectus

Homo erectus belongs to the genus Homo and was also the earliest in the human lineage. Unlike other early hominins, H.erectus had distinct characteristics which meant it was similar to modern humans.

Furthermore, H.erectus had a widespread distribution – from Africa to Europe and Asia and Indonesia. Hence, H.erectus is often referred to as the first “cosmopolitan” hominin lineage. However, the oldest fossil finds of this species is Africa – which suggests it came from there.

What Came Before Homo erectus?

H.erectus was believed to have evolved from another early human ancestor known as Homo habilis. However, some paleoanthropologists may argue that Homo ergaster may have come before H.erectus, though fossil evidence supporting the same is inconclusive.

How did Homo erectus Differ from Homo sapiens?

Though H.erectus and H.sapiens are related, many differences did exist between the two species. For example, H. erectus had a long, elongated skull, which is in stark contrast to our rounded skull. Moreover, H. erectus had a very prominent brow ridge over its eye sockets, which was also common among other archaic humans. Paleoanthropologists speculate that this feature enhanced facial expressions – which may have played a role in social signalling.

Are we Descendents of Homo Erectus?

It is speculated that modern humans evolved from H.erectus about 200,000 years ago. This is due to the fact that H.erectus was the first of the hominins – which is where most of our modern human traits began to appear in fossil records. Moreover, a certain species of H.erectus was even classified as a separate species – Homo ergaster because the features were even more “human-like”. Regardless, many scientists still consider Homo sapiens to be descents of H.erectus.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Homo erectus


What does ‘Homo erectus’ mean?

Homo erectus means upright man in the Latin language. They walked in two feet.


Who are homo habilis?

Homo habilis are the most ancient types of humans belonging to the genus Homo. Homo habilis means ‘Handy man’ in Latin. They used tools.

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