Homo erectus meaning ' upright man' were a species of archaic humans from the Pleistocene , earliest occurrence about 2 mya. They are proposed to be the direct ancestors to several human species, such as H. There are also several proposed subspecies with varying levels of recognition. Excavated from the bank of the Solo River at Trinil , East Java , he first allocated the material to a genus of fossil chimpanzees as Anthropopithecus erectus , then the following year assigned it to a new genus as Pithecanthropus erectus the genus name had been coined by Ernst Haeckel in for the hypothetical link between humans and fossil Apes.
The species name erectus was given because the femur suggested that Java Man had been bipedal and walked upright.
However, few scientists recognized it as a "missing link", and, consequently, Dubois' discovery had been largely disregarded. In , two teeth from Zhoukoudian , China discovered by Johan Gunnar Andersson had prompted widely publicized interest. Subsequent excavations uncovered about human fossils from more than 40 individuals including five nearly complete skullcaps. Nearly all of the original specimens were lost during World War II during an attempt to smuggle them out of China for safekeeping.
Throughout much of the 20th century, anthropologists debated the role of H. Early in the century, due in part to the discoveries at Java and Zhoukoudian, the belief that modern humans first evolved in Asia was widely accepted.
A few naturalists— Charles Darwin the most prominent among them—theorized that humans' earliest ancestors were African. Darwin pointed out that chimpanzees and gorillas, humans' closest relatives, evolved and exist only in Africa. It has been proposed that H. Alternatively, a group of H.
Because the earliest remains of H. A study suggested that it was H. Since its discovery in Java man , there has been a trend in palaeoanthropology of reducing the number of proposed species of Homo , to the point where H. Due to such a wide range of variation, it has been suggested that the ancient H. It is debated whether the African H. In the latter, H. In a wider sense, H. Homo erectus is the most long-lived species of Homo , having survived for over a million years. By contrast, Homo sapiens emerged about a quarter million years ago.
Regarding many archaic humans , there is no definite consensus as to whether they should be classified as subspecies of H. If considering Homo erectus in its strict sense that is, as referring to only the Asian variety no consensus has been reached as to whether it is ancestral to H. Meganthropus refers to a group of fossils found in Java, dated to between 1. One of the features distinguishing H. Foot tracks found in in Kenya confirmed that the gait of H.
The frontal bone is less sloped and the dental arcade smaller than that of the australopithecines ; the face is more prognathic less protrusive [ clarify ] than australopithecines or H. Throwing performance may have been an important mode for early hunting and defense in the genus Homo , linked to several anatomical shifts.
This suggests that the ability for high speed throwing can be dated back to nearly two million years ago. Though larger and heavier, these hand axes had sharper, chiseled edges, likely used in butchering. Such tools could indicate H.
The earliest record of Achuelean technology comes from West Turkana , Kenya 1. Oldowan lithics are also known from the site, and the two seemed to coexist for some time. The earliest records of Achuelean technology outside of Africa date to no older than 1 mya, indicating it only became widespread after some secondary H.
It has been suggested that the Asian H. It is unknown if they wore clothes and had tools such as bowls and utensils. Some evidence is found that H.
Book Summary – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Evidence also exists that H. Several East African sites show some evidence of early fire usage. At Chesowanja , there is evidence of 1. There is a hearth-like depression with traces of charcoal at Olorgesailie , but this could have resulted from a natural bush fire. In Gadeb , Ethiopia, fragments of welded tuff that appeared to have been burned or scorched were found alongside Acheulean artifacts. However, such re-firing of the rocks may have been caused by local volcanic activity.
These depressions may have been burnt tree stumps, and the fire was made far from the habitation site.
Remains of H. There is evidence of H. An engraved shell with geometric markings could possibly be evidence of the earliest art-making, dating back to — kya. Art-making capabilities could be considered evidence of symbolic thinking, which is associated with modern cognition and behavior.
Facts about Human Evolution
Homo erectus was probably the first hominin to live in a hunter-gatherer society, and anthropologists such as Richard Leakey believe that H. Likewise, increased cranial capacity generally correlates to the more sophisticated tools H.
The discovery of Turkana boy H. It likely communicated in a proto-language , lacking the fully developed structure of modern human language, but more developed than the non-verbal communication used by chimpanzees.
The lower cave of the Zhoukoudian cave, China, is one of the most important archaeological sites worldwide. New evidence has shown that Homo erectus does not have uniquely thick vault bones, like what was previously thought.
Homo erectus tautavelensis skull. Replica of lower jaws of Homo erectus from Tautavel , France. A reconstruction based on evidence from the Daka Member, Ethiopia.
Original fossils of Pithecanthropus erectus now Homo erectus found in Java in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Extinct species of the genus Homo. For other uses, see H. Temporal range: 2—0.
The 3 Key Human Revolutions
Dubois , Further information: Trinil 2. Further information: Early human expansions out of Africa. Further information: Homo and Human taxonomy. Comparative morphology.
The skull of Homo erectus ; note the large teeth. The skull of Homo sapiens , with its smaller teeth. Oldowan choppers did not become completely replaced until about 1 mya. An Acheulean cordiform axe.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Peking Man Site Museum. In the summer of , Dr. Andersson and his companions discovered this richly fossiliferous deposit through the local quarry men's guide. During examination he was surprised to notice some fragments of white quartz in tabus, a mineral normally foreign in that locality. The significance of this occurrence immediately suggested itself to him and turning to his companions, he exclaimed dramatically "Here is primitive man, now all we have to do is find him!
During —, abundant human and animal fossils as well as artefact were found at Peking Man Site, it made the site to be the most productive one of the Homo erectus sites of the same age all over the world. Other localities in the vicinity were also excavated almost at the same time.
Homo erectus facts and details book
John Murray. Spoor; M. Leakey; P. Gathogo; F. Brown; S. McDougall; C. Kiarie; F.
Manthi; L. Leakey 9 August Bibcode : Natur. A partial maxilla assigned to H.
Bibcode : PNAS.. Quaternary Science Reviews. Bibcode : QSRv Philip Rightmire Evolutionary Anthropology. The Daily Telegraph.