Similarities between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens Essay

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Similarities between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens

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The term Homo erectus means the ‘upright man.’ These species were the early Stone Age hunters that were responsible for the colonization of new homes in Africa, Europe, and southern parts of Asia. They were bigger in size and were more intelligent than the Homo habilis or Australopithecus. These species had the thickest skull among all the human species. They had brawny muscles that connected the neck to the backside of the skull bump and disabled the heavy head from limping forwards. The average height of these species ranged between 5 to 6 ft and their average weight between 88 to 160 lbs. Evidences of the evolution of the species suggests that Homo erectus evolved about 1.8 million years ago.

The species migrated first to Asia and then to Europe. The species became extinct half a million years ago. The anthropologists are not sure about the period during, which Homo erectus migrated from Africa and they believe that it started 1 million years ago. The time of migration out of Africa is unknown. Most scholars agreed migration occurred about 1 million years ago but there is continue debate over how much earlier than this had begun. Latest in the research of existence and living styles of Home erectus is the finding of the lower jaw of the species in Georgia. It is said that the jaw is 1.6 million years old (Home Erectus, n.d.). The main objective behind the paper is to discuss the extent of similarities that exist between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. We would be emphasizing on the anatomic characteristics of the Homo erectus species and the difference that lies in the appearance and behavior as compared with those of the modern human beings. We would be able to note the similarities and the differences that exist between two species (Homo erectus, 2008).

The Homo erectus species have driven structural features and larger brains as compared to those of Homo habilis. The recent findings regarding these species in Georgia indicate smaller brains. The slope of the forehead is lesser and the teeth are comparatively smaller. One can find huge resemblance between the modern humans and Homo erectus. However, if we compare the two species in terms of their brains, the brains of Homo erectus were about 75% of the size of Homo sapiens. They had an average height of 1.79m (5 feet, 10 inches). The difference among the opposite sexes is slightly different from the ones found in Homo sapiens. The Homo erectus males were 20-30% larger than the females.

            The living characteristics of the species were very close to what we come across in modern human beings. Their usage of sophisticated tools was comparatively more than any of their predecessor species. All the tools that they use were made of stone. These species were among the first species to comply with the ‘hunter gatherer’ category. Anthropologists believe that the social aspects of the species are very close to modern humans. The large size of the brains suggests the greater use of sophisticated tools and technology. This characteristic is similar to the characteristic found in modern human beings and that is why these species were close in behavior to the Homo sapiens. Their speech characteristics were different from Homo sapiens despite having the anatomy similar to that of modern humans. The discovery of the Turkana boy in 1984 from the Homo erectus species suggests they produced sounds that were comparable to modern speech but not exactly like it.

            The anatomy and the living characteristics of the species suggest remarkable similarities with the Homo sapiens and it would be safe to regard them as the ancestral species of the modern humans (Kreger, 2008). The attributes of these species are very similar to the modern humans and show a trend towards the development of Homo sapiens. Among these trends was the augmented brain size from 900 cc of Homo erectus to 1350 cc of Homo sapiens, decreasing size of the jaw and the reduction of the face vertically. Another similarity or trend is the reduction in the size of the arm bones that formed a very modern human like limb. Moreover, these species were among the first ones to have an external nose and their height was very similar to height of the modern humans. All of these similarities suggest that it would not be unjust if we regard Homo erectus as the ancestors of the modern humans based on their anatomic similarities and their way of living life. Like modern humans, their height and brain was close to the modern humans. Moreover, they also used tools and technology to help themselves (Walker & Shipman, 1996).

References
Homo erectus (2008). Answers.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2008 from <http://www.answers.com/topic/homo-erectus>
Kreger, C. David (2008). Homo erectus. Oxford University Press
Walker, A., and P. Shipman. (1996). the Wisdom of the Bones: In Search of Human Origins. New York: Knopf.
·         The Rise of Homo sapiens Frederick Coolidge (1996) The Evolution of Modern Thinking University of Colorado at Colorado Springs