Homo

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Homo
Temporal range: Piacenzian-Present, 2.8–0  Ma
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Homo erectus adult female - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17.jpg
Forensic reconstruction of an adult female Homo erectus [1]
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: Homininae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus:Homo
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Homo sapiens
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

For other species or subspecies suggested, see below.

Contents

Synonyms

Homo (Latin homō "human being") is the genus that encompasses the extant species Homo sapiens (modern humans), plus several extinct species classified as either ancestral to or closely related to modern humans (depending on a species), most notably Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. The genus is taken to emerge with the appearance of Homo habilis , just over two million years ago. [2] Genus Homo, together with the genera Paranthropus and Kenyanthropus , is probably sister to A. africanus and/or A. sediba in the genus Australopithecus , which itself had previously split from the lineage of Pan , the chimpanzees. [3] [4] Taxonomically, Homo is the only genus assigned to the subtribe Hominina which, with the subtribes Australopithecina and Panina, comprise the tribe Hominini.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

<i>Homo sapiens</i> species of mammal

In taxonomy, Homo sapiens is the only extant human species. The name is Latin for "wise man" and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus.

Homo erectus appeared about two million years ago and, in several early migrations, it spread throughout Africa (where it is dubbed Homo ergaster ) and Eurasia. It was likely the first human species to live in a hunter-gatherer society and to control fire. An adaptive and successful species, Homo erectus persisted for more than a million years, and gradually diverged into new species by around 500,000 years ago. [5]

<i>Homo erectus</i> extinct species of the genus Homo

Homo erectus is a species of archaic humans that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch. Its earliest fossil evidence dates to 1.8 million years ago. However, a 2017 analyses points to these specific fossils being more archaic, being related to H. naledi, which was considered one of the first homo species.

<i>Homo ergaster</i> species of mammal (fossil)

Homo ergaster , also Homo erectus ergaster or African Homo erectus is an extinct chronospecies of the genus Homo that lived in eastern and southern Africa during the early Pleistocene, between about 1.9 million and 1.4 million years ago.

A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging. Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.

Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) emerges close to 300,000 to 200,000 years ago, [6] most likely in Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis emerges at around the same time in Europe and Western Asia. H. sapiens dispersed from Africa in several waves, from possibly as early as 250,000 years ago, and certainly by 130,000 years ago, the so-called Southern Dispersal beginning about 70,000 years ago leading to the lasting colonisation of Eurasia and Oceania by 50,000 years ago. Both in Africa and Eurasia, H. sapiens met with and interbred with [7] [8] archaic humans. Separate archaic (non-sapiens) human species are thought to have survived until around 40,000 years ago (Neanderthal extinction), with possible late survival of hybrid species as late as 12,000 years ago (Red Deer Cave people).

Southern Dispersal

In the context of the recent African origin of modern humans, the Southern Dispersal scenario refers to the early migration along the southern coast of Asia, from the Arabian peninsula via Persia and India to Southeast Asia and Oceania. Alternative names include the "southern coastal route" or "rapid coastal settlement".

Early human migrations

Early human migrations are the earliest migrations and expansions of archaic and modern humans across continents beginning 2 million years ago with the out of Africa migration of Homo erectus. This initial migration was followed by other archaic humans including H. heidelbergensis, which lived around 500,000 years ago and was the likely ancestor of both Denisovans and Neanderthals. Early hominids were said to have "crossed land bridges that were eventually covered in water".

Eurasia The combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia

Eurasia is the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia. The term is a portmanteau of its constituent continents. Located primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean to the south. The division between Europe and Asia as two different continents is a historical social construct, with no clear physical separation between them; thus, in some parts of the world, Eurasia is recognized as the largest of the six, five, or even four continents on Earth. In geology, Eurasia is often considered as a single rigid megablock. However, the rigidity of Eurasia is debated based on paleomagnetic data.

Names and taxonomy

Evolutionary tree chart emphasizing the subfamily Homininae and the tribe Hominini. After diverging from the line to Ponginae the early Homininae split into the tribes Hominini and Gorillini. The early Hominini split further, separating the line to Homo from the lineage of Pan. Currently, tribe Hominini designates the subtribes Hominina, containing genus Homo; Panina, genus Pan; and Australopithecina, with several extinct genera—the subtribes are not labelled on this chart. Homininae.svg
Evolutionary tree chart emphasizing the subfamily Homininae and the tribe Hominini. After diverging from the line to Ponginae the early Homininae split into the tribes Hominini and Gorillini. The early Hominini split further, separating the line to Homo from the lineage of Pan. Currently, tribe Hominini designates the subtribes Hominina, containing genus Homo; Panina, genus Pan; and Australopithecina, with several extinct genera—the subtribes are not labelled on this chart.
A model of the evolution of the genus Homo over the last 2 million years (vertical axis). The rapid "Out of Africa" expansion of H. sapiens is indicated at the top of the diagram, with admixture indicated with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and unspecified archaic African hominins. Late survival of robust australopithecines (Paranthropus) alongside Homo until 1.2 Mya is indicated in purple. Homo lineage 2017update.svg
A model of the evolution of the genus Homo over the last 2 million years (vertical axis). The rapid "Out of Africa" expansion of H. sapiens is indicated at the top of the diagram, with admixture indicated with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and unspecified archaic African hominins. Late survival of robust australopithecines ( Paranthropus ) alongside Homo until 1.2 Mya is indicated in purple.

See Homininae for an overview of taxonomy.

The Latin noun homō (genitive hominis) means "human being" or "man" in the generic sense of "human being, mankind". [9] The binomial name Homo sapiens was coined by Carl Linnaeus (1758). [10] Names for other species of the genus were introduced beginning in the second half of the 19th century (H. neanderthalensis 1864, H. erectus 1892).

The term "man" and words derived from it can designate any or even all of the human race regardless of their sex or age. In traditional usage, man itself refers to the species, to humanity, or "mankind", as a whole.

Binomial nomenclature, also called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name, a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; more informally it is also called a Latin name. The first part of the name – the generic name – identifies the genus to which the species belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong to the genus Homo and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Tyrannosaurus rex is probably the most widely known binomial. The formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus, effectively beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1623, had introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici many names of genera that were later adopted by Linnaeus.

Carl Linnaeus Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist

Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus.

Even today, the genus Homo has not been properly defined. [11] [12] [13] Since the early human fossil record began to slowly emerge from the earth, the boundaries and definitions of the genus Homo have been poorly defined and constantly in flux. Because there was no reason to think it would ever have any additional members, Carl Linnaeus did not even bother to define Homo when he first created it for humans in the 18th century. The discovery of Neanderthal brought the first addition.

The genus Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its member species can be classified as human. And, over the decades of the 20th century, fossil finds of pre-human and early human species from late Miocene and early Pliocene times produced a rich mix for debating classifications. There is continuing debate on delineating Homo from Australopithecus—or, indeed, delineating Homo from Pan , as one body of scientists argue that the two species of chimpanzee should be classed with genus Homo rather than Pan. Even so, classifying the fossils of Homo coincides with evidences of: 1) competent human bipedalism in Homo habilis inherited from the earlier Australopithecus of more than four million years ago, (see Laetoli); and 2) human tool culture having begun by 2.5 million years ago.

The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago (Ma). The Miocene was named by Charles Lyell; its name comes from the Greek words μείων and καινός and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene.

The Pliocene Epoch is the epoch in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.333 million to 2.58 million years BP. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch. Prior to the 2009 revision of the geologic time scale, which placed the four most recent major glaciations entirely within the Pleistocene, the Pliocene also included the Gelasian stage, which lasted from 2.588 to 1.806 million years ago, and is now included in the Pleistocene.

<i>Pan</i> (genus) genus of mammals, includes common chimpanzee and bonobo

The genus Pan consists of two extant species: the common chimpanzee and the bonobo. Taxonomically, the members of the chimpanzee and bonobo subtribe Panina are collectively termed panins, but sometimes both species are referred to collectively using the generalized term chimpanzees, or chimps. Together with humans, gorillas, and orangutans they are part of the family Hominidae. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, common chimpanzees and bonobos are currently both found in the Congo jungle, while only the common chimpanzee is also found further north in West Africa. Both species are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and in 2017 the Convention on Migratory Species selected the common chimpanzee for special protection.

From the late-19th to mid-20th centuries, a number of new taxonomic names including new generic names were proposed for early human fossils; most have since been merged with Homo in recognition that Homo erectus was a single and singular species with a large geographic spread of early migrations. Many such names are now dubbed as "synonyms" with Homo, including Pithecanthropus, [14] Protanthropus, [15] Sinanthropus, [16] Cyphanthropus, [17] Africanthropus, [18] Telanthropus, [19] Atlanthropus, [20] and Tchadanthropus. [21]

Classifying the genus Homo into species and subspecies is subject to incomplete information and remains poorly done. This has led to using common names ("Neanderthal" and "Denisovan") in even scientific papers to avoid trinomial names or the ambiguity of classifying groups as incertae sedis (uncertain placement)—for example, H. neanderthalensis vs. H. sapiens neanderthalensis, or H. georgicus vs. H. erectus georgicus. [22] Some recently extinct species in the genus Homo are only recently discovered and do not as yet have consensus binomial names (see Denisova hominin and Red Deer Cave people). [23] Since the beginning of the Holocene, it is likely that Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) has been the only extant species of Homo.

John Edward Gray (1825) was an early advocate of classifying taxa by designating tribes and families. [24] Wood and Richmond (2000) proposed that Hominini ("hominins") be designated as a tribe that comprised all species of early humans and pre-humans ancestral to humans back to after the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor; and that Hominina be designated a subtribe of Hominini to include only the genus Homo—that is, not including the earlier upright walking hominins of the Pliocene such as Australopithecus , Orrorin tugenensis , Ardipithecus , or Sahelanthropus . [25] Designations alternative to Hominina existed, or were offered: Australopithecinae (Gregory & Hellman 1939) and Preanthropinae (Cela-Conde & Altaba 2002); [26] [27] [28] and later, Cela-Conde and Ayala (2003) proposed that the four genera Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Praeanthropus, and Sahelanthropus be grouped with Homo within Hominina.[ not in citation given ] [29]

Evolution

See Hominini and Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor for the separation of Australopithecina and Panina.

Australopithecus

Forensic reconstruction of A. afarensis Australopithecus afarensis adult male - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17.jpg
Forensic reconstruction of A. afarensis

Several species, including Australopithecus garhi , Australopithecus sediba , Australopithecus africanus , and Australopithecus afarensis , have been proposed as the direct ancestor of the Homo lineage. [31] [32] These species have morphological features that align them with Homo, but there is no consensus as to which gave rise to Homo.

Especially since the 2010s, the delineation of Homo from Australopithecus has become more contentious. Traditionally, the advent of Homo has been taken to coincide with the first use of stone tools (the Oldowan industry), and thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Palaeolithic. But in 2010, evidence was presented that seems to attribute the use of stone tools to Australopithecus afarensis around 3.3 million years ago, close to a million years before the first appearance of Homo. [33] LD 350-1, a fossil mandible fragment dated to 2.8 Mya, discovered in 2015 in Afar, Ethiopia, was described as combining "primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo. [34] Some authors would push the development of Homo close to or even past 3 Mya. [35] Others have voiced doubt as to whether Homo habilis should be included in Homo, proposing an origin of Homo with Homo erectus at roughly 1.9 Mya instead. [36]

The most salient physiological development between the earlier australopithecine species and Homo is the increase in endocranial volume (ECV), from about 460 cm3 (28 cu in) in A. garhi to 660 cm3 (40 cu in) in H. habilis and further to 760 cm3 (46 cu in) in H. erectus, 1,250 cm3 (76 cu in) in H. heidelbergensis and up to 1,760 cm3 (107 cu in) in H. neanderthalensis. However, a steady rise in cranial capacity is observed already in Autralopithecina and does not terminate after the emergence of Homo, so that it does not serve as an objective criterion to define the emergence of the genus. [37]

Homo habilis

Forensic reconstruction of Homo habilis, exhibit in LWL-Museum für Archäologie, Herne, Germany (2007 photograph). Homo habilis.JPG
Forensic reconstruction of Homo habilis, exhibit in LWL-Museum für Archäologie, Herne, Germany (2007 photograph).

Homo habilis emerged about 2.1 Mya. Already before 2010, there were suggestions that H. habilis should not be placed in genus Homo but rather in Australopithecus. [39] [40] The main reason to include H. habilis in Homo, its undisputed tool use, has become obsolete with the discovery of Australopithecus tool use at least a million years before H. habilis. [33] Furthermore, H. habilis was long thought to be the ancestor of the more gracile Homo ergaster ( Homo erectus ). In 2007, it was discovered that H. habilis and H. erectus coexisted for a considerable time, suggesting that H. erectus is not immediately derived from H. habilis but instead from a common ancestor. [41] With the publication of Dmanisi skull 5 in 2013, it has become less certain that Asian H. erectus is a descendant of African H. ergaster which was in turn derived from H. habilis. Instead, H. ergaster and H. erectus appear to be variants of the same species, which may have originated in either Africa or Asia [42] and widely dispersed throughout Eurasia (including Europe, Indonesia, China) by 0.5 Mya. [43]

Homo erectus

Homo erectus has often been assumed to have developed anagenetically from Homo habilis from about 2 million years ago. This scenario was strengthened with the discovery of Homo erectus georgicus , early specimens of H. erectus found in the Caucasus, which seemed to exhibit transitional traits with H. habilis. As the earliest evidence for H. erectus was found outside of Africa, it was considered plausible that H. erectus developed in Eurasia and then migrated back to Africa. Based on fossils from the Koobi Fora Formation, east of Lake Turkana in Kenya, Spoor et al. (2007) argued that H. habilis may have survived beyond the emergence of H. erectus, so that the evolution of H. erectus would not have been anagenetically, and H. erectus would have existed alongside H. habilis for about half a million years ( 1.9 to 1.4 million years ago ), during the early Calabrian. [44]

A separate South African species Homo gautengensis has been postulated as contemporary with Homo erectus in 2010. [45]

Phylogeny

A taxonomy of the Homo within the great apes is assessed as follows, with Paranthropus and Homo emerging within Australopithecus (shown here cladistically granting Paranthropus, Kenyanthropus, and Homo). [46] [47] [4] [48] [49] [4] [50] [51] [51] [52] [53] [51] The exact phylogeny within Australopithecus is still highly controversial. Approximate radiation dates of daughter clades are shown in Millions of years ago (Mya). Sahelanthropus , Orrorin , and Ardipithecus , possibly sisters to Australopithecus, are not shown here. Note that the naming of groupings is sometimes muddled as often certain groupings are presumed before a cladistic analyses is performed. [52]

Hominoidea

Hylobatidae (gibbons)

Hominidae

Ponginae (orangutans)

Homininae

Gorillini (gorillas)

Hominini

Panina (chimpanzees)

Australopithecus

Australopithecus anamensis

Australopithecus afarensis

Australopithecus garhi

Australopithecus deyiremeda (†3.4)

Australopithecus africanus (†2.1)

Homo

Homo habilis (†1.5) Habilis Skull.png

Paranthropus (†1.2)

Kenyanthropus platyops (†3.3)

Homo rudolfensis (†1.9) Rudolfensis Skull.png

H. erectus

Homo ergaster (†1.4) Ergaster Skull.png

Homo erectus s.s. ((†)0.14) Erectus Skull.png

Red Deer Cave people ((†)0.01)

(1.2)

Homo antecessor ssp. Antecessor Skull.png (†0.8)

(0.74)
H. heidelbergensis

H. heidelbergensis s.s. ((†)0.2)

(0.3)

H. neanderthalensis ((†)0.05) Neanderthalensis Skull.png

H. Denisovan ((†)0.05)

Homo sapiens Sapiens Skull.png

(1.9)

Australopithecus sediba (†2.0)

Homo Floresiensis (†0.1)

(3.4)
(5.7)
(6.3)
(8.8)
(15.7)
(20.4 Mya)

Several of the Homo lineages appear to have surviving progeny through introgression into other lines. An archaic lineage separating from the other human lineages 1.5 million years ago, perhaps H. erectus, may have interbred into the Denisovans about 55,000 years ago, [54] [55] [56] [51] [57] although H. erectus is generally regarded as being extinct by then. [58] [59] However, the thigh bone, dated at 14,000 years, found in a Maludong cave (Red Deer Cave people) strongly resembles very ancient species like early Homo erectus or the even more archaic lineage, Homo habilis, which lived around 1.5 million year ago. [60] [58] There is evidence for introgression of H. Heidelbergensis into H. sapiens. [61] The genomes of non-sub-Saharan African humans show what appear to be numerous independent introgression events involving Neanderthal and in some cases also Denisovans around 45,000 years ago. [62] [63] Likewise the genetic structure of sub-Saharan Africans seems to be indicative of introgression from a distinct, as yet unidentified archaic human lineage such as H. heidelbergensis. [61]

In this cladogram the position of Kenyanthropus, which is ~3.3 My old, is remarkable as Homo and Paranthropus are usually not considered to have diverged that early, typically around 2.5–2.8 Mya. [64] [65] It is possible Kenyanthropus is not part of Homo. [66] An alternative phylogeny was presented by Dembo et al. who did a thorough Bayesian analyses. The posterior probabilities of the nodes (i.e. the likelihood that the true node structure is presented) were typically around 50%. Therefor, such fossil based trees only give a coarse impression of the true phylogenetic relationships. [53]

Dispersal

By about 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus is present in both East Africa ( Homo ergaster ) and in Western Asia ( Homo georgicus ). The ancestors of Indonesian Homo floresiensis may have left Africa even earlier. [67]

Homo erectus and related or derived archaic human species over the next 1.5 million years spread throughout Africa and Eurasia. [68] Europe is reached by about 0.5 Mya by Homo heidelbergensis .

Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens develop after about 300 kya. Homo naledi is present in Southern Africa by 300 kya.

H. sapiens soon after its first emergence spread throughout Africa, and to Western Asia in several waves, possibly as early as 250 kya, and certainly by 130 kya. Most notable is the Southern Dispersal of H. sapiens around 60 kya, which led to the lasting peopling of Oceania and Eurasia by anatomically modern humans. [69] H. sapiens interbred with archaic humans both in Africa and in Eurasia, in Eurasia notably with Neanderthals and Denisovans. [70]

Among extant populations of Homo sapiens , the deepest temporal division is found in the San people of Southern Africa, estimated at close to 130,000 years, [71] or possibly more than 300,000 years ago. [72] Temporal division among non-Africans is of the order of 60,000 years in the case of Australo-Melanesians. Division of Europeans and East Asians is of the order of 50,000 years, with repeated and significant admixture events throughout Eurasia during the Holocene.

Archaic human species may have survived until the beginning of the Holocene (Red Deer Cave people), although they were mostly extinct or absorbed by the expanding H. sapiens populations by 40 kya (Neanderthal extinction).

List of species

The species status of H. rudolfensis , H. ergaster , H. georgicus , H. antecessor , H. cepranensis , H. rhodesiensis , H. neanderthalensis , Denisova hominin, Red Deer Cave people, and H. floresiensis remains under debate. H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis are closely related to each other and have been considered to be subspecies of H. sapiens.

There has historically been a trend to postulate "new human species" based on as little as an individual fossil. A "minimalist" approach to human taxonomy recognizes at most three species, Homo habilis (2.1–1.5 Mya, membership in Homo questionable), Homo erectus (1.8–0.1 Mya, including the majority of the age of the genus, and the majority of archaic varieties as subspecies, [73] including H. heidelbergensis as a late or transitional variety [74] ) and Homo sapiens (300 kya to present, including H. neanderthalensis and other varieties as subspecies).

Comparative table of Homo species
SpeciesTemporal range kya HabitatAdult heightAdult mass Cranial capacity (cm³) Fossil record Discovery / publication of name
H. habilis
membership in Homo uncertain
2,100–1,500 [75] East Africa 110–140 cm (4 ft 11 in)33–55 kg (73–121 lb)510–660 Many 1960/1964
H. rudolfensis
membership in Homo uncertain
1,900 Kenya 7002 sites1972/1986
H. gautengensis
also classified as H. habilis
1,900–600 South Africa 100 cm (3 ft 3 in)3 individuals [76] 2010/2010
H. erectus 1,900–140

[77] [78] [79]

Africa, Eurasia 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)60 kg (130 lb)850 (early) – 1,100 (late)Many [80] 1891/1892
H. ergaster
African H. erectus
1,800–1,300 [81] East and Southern Africa700–850Many1949/1975
H. antecessor
also classified as H. heidelbergensis
1,200–800 Western Europe 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)90 kg (200 lb)1,0002 sites1994/1997
H. heidelbergensis 600–300 [82] Europe, Africa180 cm (5 ft 11 in)90 kg (200 lb)1,100–1,400Many1907/1908
H. cepranensis
a single fossil, possibly H. erectus
c. 450 [83] Italy 1,0001 skull cap1994/2003
H. rhodesiensis
also classified as H. heidelbergensis or a subspecies of H. sapiens
c. 300 Zambia 1,300single or very few1921/1921
H. naledi c. 300 [84] South Africa 150 cm (4 ft 11 in)45 kg (99 lb)45015 individuals2013/2015
H. sapiens
(anatomically modern humans)
300–present [85] Worldwide 150–190 cm (4 ft 7 in – 6 ft 3 in)50–100 kg (110–220 lb)950–1,800(extant)—/1758
H. neanderthalensis
possibly a subspecies of H. sapiens
240–40 [86] Europe, Western Asia170 cm (5 ft 7 in)55–70 kg (121–154 lb) (heavily built)1,200–1,900 Many 1829/1864
H. floresiensis
classification uncertain
190–50 Indonesia 100 cm (3 ft 3 in)25 kg (55 lb)4007 individuals2003/2004
H. tsaichangensis
possibly H. erectus
c. 100 [87] Taiwan 1 individual2008(?)/2015
Denisova hominin
possible H. sapiens subspecies or hybrid
40 Siberia 1 site2000/2010 [88]
Red Deer Cave people
possible H. sapiens subspecies or hybrid
15–12 [89] Southwest ChinaVery few2012/—

See also

Related Research Articles

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Homo rudolfensis is an extinct species of the Hominini tribe, on the morphological boundary between the genera Homo and Australopithecus. Its oldest fossil is dated to 2.4 million years ago, at the very beginning of the Pleistocene, with the possible exception of the LD 350-1 representing the oldest fossil evidence of the emergence of archaic humans from their australopithecine ancestors.

<i>Homo heidelbergensis</i> Extinct species of the genus Homo

Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus homo, which radiated in the Middle Pleistocene from about 700,000 to 300,000 years ago, known from fossils found in Southern Africa, East Africa and Europe. African H. heidelbergensis has several subspecies. The subspecies are Homo heidelbergensis heidelbergensis, Homo heidelbergensis daliensis, Homo rhodesiensis, and Homo heidelbergensis steinheimensi. The derivation of Homo sapiens from Homo rhodesiensis has often been proposed, but is obscured by a fossil gap from 400–260 kya. The species was originally named Homo heidelbergensis due to the skeleton's first discovery in Heidelberg, Germany.

<i>Homo floresiensis</i> species of mammal

Homo floresiensis is an extinct species in the genus Homo.

Lower Paleolithic

The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 3.3 million years ago when the first evidence for stone tool production and use by hominins appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the Oldowan and Acheulean lithics industries.

<i>Homo antecessor</i> species of mammal (fossil)

Homo antecessor is a proposed archaic human species of the Lower Paleolithic, known to have been present in Western Europe between about 1.2 million and 0.8 million years ago (Mya). It was described in 1997 by Eudald Carbonell, Juan Luis Arsuaga and J. M. Bermúdez de Castro, who based on its "unique mix of modern and primitive traits" classified it as a previously unknown archaic human species.

Timeline of human evolution Chronological outline of major events in the development of the human species

The timeline of human evolution outlines the major events in the development of the human species, Homo sapiens, and the evolution of the human's ancestors. It includes brief explanations of some of the species, genera, and the higher ranks of taxa that are seen today as possible ancestors of modern humans.

Human taxonomy

Human taxonomy is the classification of the human species within zoological taxonomy. The systematic genus, Homo, is designed to include both anatomically modern humans and extinct varieties of archaic humans. Current humans have been designated as subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, differentiated from the direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu.

Archaic humans extinct relatives of modern humans (Homo) from the past half million years (such as Neanderthals)

A number of varieties of Homo are grouped into the broad category of archaic humans in the period contemporary to and predating the emergence of the earliest anatomically modern humans over 315 ka. The term typically includes Homo neanderthalensis (430+–25 ka), Denisovans, Homo rhodesiensis (300–125 ka), Homo heidelbergensis (600–200 ka), and Homo antecessor.

Paleolithic Europe

Paleolithic Europe, the Lower or Old Stone Age in Europe encompasses the era from the arrival of the first archaic humans, about 1.4 million years ago until the beginning of the Mesolithic around 10,000 years ago. This period thus covers over 99% of the total human presence on the European continent. The early arrival and disappearance of Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis, the appearance, complete evolution and eventual demise of Homo neanderthalensis and the immigration and successful settlement of Homo sapiens all have taken place during the European Paleolithic.

Denisovan Paleolithic-era species of the genus Homo.

The Denisovans or Denisova hominins(di-NEE-sə-və) are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo. Pending its taxonomic status, it currently carries temporary species or subspecies names Homo denisova, Homo altaiensis, Homo sapiens denisova, or Homo sapiens Altai. In March 2010, scientists announced the discovery of an undated finger bone fragment of a juvenile female found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, a cave that has also been inhabited by Neanderthals and modern humans. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the finger bone showed it to be genetically distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans. The nuclear genome from this specimen suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans, with about 3% to 5% of the DNA of Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians and around 6% in Papuans deriving from Denisovans.

<i>Australopithecus sediba</i> species of human

Australopithecus sediba is a species of Australopithecus of the early Pleistocene, identified based on fossil remains dated to about 2 million years ago. The species is known from six skeletons discovered in the Malapa Fossil Site at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa, including a juvenile male, an adult female, an adult male, and three infants. The fossils were found together at the bottom of the Malapa Cave, where they apparently fell to their death, and have been dated to between 1.980 and 1.977 million years ago.

Early expansions of hominins out of Africa The first hominin expansion into Eurasia

Several expansions of populations of archaic humans out of Africa and throughout Eurasia took place in the course of the Lower Paleolithic, and into the beginning Middle Paleolithic, between about 2.1 million and 0.2 million years ago (Ma). These expansions are collectively dubbed as Out of Africa I, in contrast to the expansion of Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) into Eurasia, which may have begun shortly after 0.2 million years ago.

The diet of known human ancestors varies dramatically over time. Strictly speaking, according to evolutionary anthropologists and archaeologists there is not a single hominin Paleolithic diet. The Paleolithic covers roughly 2.8 million years, concurrent with the Pleistocene, and includes multiple human ancestors with their own evolutionary and technological adaptations living in a wide variety of environments. This fact with the difficulty of finding conclusive of evidence often makes broad generalizations of the earlier human diets very difficult. Our pre-hominin primate ancestors were broadly herbivorous, relying on either foliage or fruits and nuts and the shift in dietary breadth during the Paleolithic is often considered a critical point in hominin evolution. A generalization between Paleolithic diets of the various human ancestors that many anthropologists do make is that they are all to one degree or another omnivorous and are inextricably linked with tool use and new technologies.

References

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