Homo Erectus Essay Research Paper Animalia Chordata

Homo Erectus Essay, Research Paper

Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae, Homo erectus

The appearance and body structure of the Homo erectus is very similar to present humans. The skull of the Homo erectus, however, is noticeably smaller. Brain capacity ranges from 800-1000 cc corresponding with a retreating forehead and thicker skull bones. Likewise, there are heavy protruding brow ridges and highly defined cheekbones in the face. The robust jaws allow large premolars and incisors as well as a parabolic mouth. The facial appearance exhibits a wide mouth and a flat nose, flared nostrils, and deeply inset eyes which overall constitutes a bony face. The ribcage is most identical to present humans, and likewise the posture of both is upright and bipedal. In contrast, the Homo erectus is more robust. Bones in the legs and feet are noticeably larger, and the hips are narrower which adds to greater functionality. For males, the weight is about 63 kg and height is about 178 cm. For females, weight is about 53 and height is about 160 cm. There are no vast differences between male and female. The young closely resemble the appearance of the old with exceptions in muscle mass and facial detail. The longest hair is deposited on the scalp, but lightly on the chest, legs, shoulders, and back. Skin tone is a deep brown.

Homo erectus existed approximately between 1.8 and 100,000 mya. They originated in East Africa, but migrated to parts of Northwest Africa, Northeastern Europe, Southern Asia, Indonesia and Australia. Homo erectus was a troglodyte, which means they lived in caves. They also lived at lake shores, riverbanks, and lowlands. As a result, fewer restrictions to climate conditions allowed the Homo erectus to live globally. This movement is linked to their tolerance of harsher climate by using fire. The Homo erectus survived the greatest in a warmer climate as in Africa.

The Homo erectus is an omnivore and its dietary regimen is broad. A typical diet could include birds, rodents, insects, and small amphibians as well as fruits, nuts, roots and seeds. It was common for them to forage or hunt for food in a group. Hunting was more viable for the male Homo erectus due to its speed and strength. The use of fire to cook food minimized the demand for large teeth and heavy jawbones. Additionally, the use of stone implements like bifacial hand axes and scrapers expedited removing food from bones and plants.

The Homo erectus reproduce sexually. The male transmits his sperm to the female s egg where fertilization occurs. Then, the zygote matures into a fetus over a gestation period of nine months inside the female s uterus or womb until the child has matured for birth. This process takes place in one mating season, which can only take place in one year s time. The female must choose the desired male during mating season. Males can mate with multiple partners in one mating season. They will often intimidate each other through physical or verbal confrontations. Strength and speed is the most desired asset for the female s young because it increases their chance of survival. The amount of offspring per mate season rarely exceeds three. After mating season, males tend to remove themselves from their mate, but remain close to the group.

The most unique characteristics of the Homo erectus was that it had mastered the use of fire and the use of tools.

They were able to cook food, mainly meat, and cut food with forged stone. These techniques improved survival and began a practice that had distinguished Homo erectus from early hominids. With the advances in fire came the prolongation of the species, ability to migrate into cooler regions, and advanced hunting skills. This repeated process over the hundreds of thousands of years of its existence, influenced the progress of modern humans. However, the Homo erectus lacks the complex thinking and emotions of modern humans. This is ascribed to the small frontal lob in the brain. They have a weak ability for complex language due to the lack of nerves in the thorax. Additionally, they have not left signs of rituals, and or spiritualism that would direct to a theology.

Richard E. Leakey. Human Origins. New York: The Rainbird Publishing Group Limited,1982

Mann E.,Alan. Prehistoric People . The World Book Encyclopedia.Ed. Dale W. Jacobs, et al. Chicago,Il: World-Book-Childcraft International Inc.

Richard E. Leakey. Origins. New York: The Rainbird Publishing Group Limited,1982

F. Clark Howell(F.C.H.). Human Evolution . Encyclopedia Britannica.1991. University of California, Berkeley. 21 Sept.2000. http://www.britannica.com

Gore, Rick. The First Steps . National Giographic 22 Sept. 2000: p72


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