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The traits of a Homo Erectus.docx

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ANTH 1131

Homo erectus Homo erectus:  Appears in Africa approximately 2 million years ago  Significantly larger in stature and brain size than any of the other hominins  First hominin that really resembles humans  Their body is very similar to ours, it is their face that is slightly different  First species we know about that leaves Africa – migrates around Europe and into India, South/South-East Asia – don’t really move Northwards Time Span for H. erectus:  H. erectus (inclusive) appears in Africa c. 2 million years ago  H. erectus-type fossils (fossils that kind of resemble H. erectus) continue:  In Africa until about 200,000 years ago  In Europe until 300,000 years ago  In Asia perhaps as recently as 50-100,000 years ago  Today, most European fossils once called Homo erectus are given their own species name (mostly H. heidelbergensis) There is a debate mainly over degree of similarity between African and Asian H. erectus fossils.  Thought that all the fossils can be lumped into a single, widespread species with some notable regional variability  Or that they should be split into two species – African and Asian.  Lumpers are the researchers that attempt to place these two together and emphasize the similarities  Splitters are people that focus on the differences of the fossil records, and creates more genera and more species Currently, most researchers appear to favour the second approach of splitting the African and Asian H. erectus species  Those in Asia (China and Indonesia) remain as Homo erectus (since that is where the name Homo erectus was first used)  Those in Africa are given the name, Homo ergaster  However, in any case, they are very closely related Then, there is still a problem, similar in regards of Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis – ambiguous if H. erectus is a descendant of H. ergaster, H. ergaster and H. erectus come from same descendant, or H. erectus comes from H. ergaster and splits away into its own speci
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