Antón, Susan C. Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:June 2016
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- Discovery and fossil record
- Geological age and distribution
- Life history
- Evolution and fate
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A species of fossil human from the Pleistocene representing a specialized side branch in human evolution in Africa and Eurasia. Homo erectus was a common, widespread, and long-surviving ancestor of modern humans (H. sapiens). Fossil remains of this extinct human species have been found in Africa and Eurasia, dating from about 1.9 million to less than 100,000 years ago. The first fossils were found in Java in 1893 and termed Pithecanthropus erectus. Most of the finds in China and across Africa were given distinctive generic and specific names, but all are now usually considered local variants or subspecies of the single species H. erectus. See also: Anthropology; Extinction (biology); Fossil; Fossil humans; Pleistocene
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