Physical Anthropology: Homo Erectus

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Andrew Godawa
Outline: Homo erectus

1. Introduction/General Information
a. A Dutch anatomist named Eugene Dubois is responsible for the discovery of Homo erectus. b. Fossils and remains were found in 1891 on the island of Java. c. Homo erectus is an extinct hominid that lived between 1.6 million and 250,000 years ago. d. Homo erectus is thought to have evolved in Africa from another human ancestor known as Homo habilis--which happens to be the first member of the genus Homo. e. Homo erectus dispersed into Asia more than 1.3 million years ago and then into Europe about 400,000 years ago. 2. Physical Description (What did they look like?)

a. Anatomically and physiologically, Homo erectus is similar to modern humans except for a slightly heavier bone structure. b. The size of its braincase is not that different from Homo sapiens, however the cranial bones are much bigger than that of either Homo habilis or modern humans. c. There was a progressive reduction in sexual dimorphism, until there was a similar ration between the two sexes. d. Proportions of the limbs to the body are much more like those of modern humans. Arms are not long and ape-like in relation to the Homo habilis. 3. Diet & Technology

a. The adapted technological uses of Homo erectus was said to be significantly more complex than that of its predecessors. b. They made use of stone tools, other varieties of tools created from wood, and fire. c. Interestingly, they created and seasonally resided in oval-shaped huts. d. Homo erectus populations used these huts while also living a life that consisted of surviving based on a combination of intense hunting and the gathering of shellfish and plant foods e. With intense competition for food against large predators, in an environment subject to frequent changes, theoretically caused certain Homo erectus subsets to invent new tools...
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