Homo habilis


Period: Pleistocene

Family: Hominidae

Genus: Homo

Species: habilis

Collection Date: 1973

Localization: E. Rudolf

Reference: Leakey, 1974

Catalogue: # KNM-ER1813

1.8 million to 700 thousand years ago


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Compared to the world we know, the Pleistocene was very cold, and glaciers- huge walls of ice- moved across the world, changing the land. This is the time our ancestors- at that time, the species called Homo erectus- began to move out of Africa to explore the rest of the world. In this time, there were many different species of human ancestors- this was the beginning of the group (genus) of species we call Homo, meaning “man,” that we think of as uniquely human. The most major species of humans from this time were Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens- the species we all are today. They often existed at the same time during the Pleistocene, until one became dominant- either by blending together other groups or destroying them in competition for food and space. The Pleistocene was a very challenging time for us, and probably because of this, we evolved faster than we ever have since- after the pleistocene, the only animals on Earth that we call “human” are ourselves, Homo sapiens. By the end of this time, we had pet dogs, used tools and wore clothes, travelled in large family groups, spoke many languages, and made all kinds of art