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Homo erectus belongs to the genus Homo, and was also the earliest in the human lineage.

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 originated from Africa – which suggests it came from there.

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.

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.

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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