Antón, Susan C. Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:December 2020
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- Discovery and fossil record
- Geological age and distribution
- Life history
- New foraging strategy
- Tool use
- Evolution and fate
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A species of fossil human from the Pleistocene representing a specialized side branch in human evolution in Africa and Eurasia. Homo erectus (Fig. 1) was a common, widespread, and long-surviving ancestor of modern humans (H. sapiens). Fossil remains of the extinct H. erectus species have been found in Africa and Eurasia, dating from about 1.9 million to 100,000 years ago. The first fossils were found in Java in 1893 and were 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 known as H. erectus. See also: Anthropology; Extinction; Fossil; Fossil humans; Pleistocene
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