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Natural History of Homo Erectus - Case Study Example

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This paper "Natural History of Homo Erectus" presents various pieces of evidence with regard to the appearance, evolution and final disappearance of H. Erectus. It considers how the species developed, its spread, habits and diet, and why there were physiological changes towards the end of its span…
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Natural History of Homo Erectus
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Download file to see previous pages However, although it resembles a modern man, the bone structures of this species are rather heavier on average. The size of its brain comes close to that of 21st-century man, but the bones of the cranium are more robust than those of either its predecessor H. habilis or of H. sapiens. Walker and Shipman (1996) put the date of its earliest beginnings as far back as 2 million years ago. Most paleoanthropologists refer to this group as Homo erectus. According to Dennis O’Neill, as accessed November 2010, just a few researchers split the group into two distinct sections – Homo ergaster ( Workingman) and the more common appellation of Homo erectus. The species H. Erectus, originally called Pithecanthropus erectus was named by Eugène Dubois in 1894, three years after his 1891discoveries in Trinil, Java.

The group was very successful in that they were able to adapt to various environments, and so we're able to move out of Africa in order to populate other areas, both tropical and sub-tropical, in various parts of the Old World. Bower(1985) claims that the species was an example of ‘puncuated equilibrium’ that is a theory which states that species have definate starting points and ends. Anton ( 2003 ) argued that Homo erectus was notable for its enlarged body size and had its origins in the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene periods in Africa but soon dispersed widely across Asia. This migration seems to have occurred at a time of general global cooling. There was little anatomical change until as recently as 800-700,000 years ago. O’Neill points out the various characteristics of this mammalian group such as binocular vision, a relatively large brain, hands that can grasp, flat fingernails instead of claws., fingerprints, a flattish face, a low birth rate of infants who receive a large amount of parental care. Three groups share these characteristics - lemurs, tarsiers, and anthropoids. The apes who belong to the last group, have fully opposable thumbs as do hominids, but hominids also have true bipedalism.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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