What Does Homo Erectus Mean?

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Homo erectus literally means upright man and is the name given to now extinct species of the genus Homo. The Homo erectus fossils were discovered in the late 19th and early 20th century in Indonesia and China. At first, these findings were not recognised as early hominids, but with later studies it was finally accepted that
Homo erectus was a widespread early human species. Since the 1950s, discoveries of Homo erectus fossils have been made sporadically, principally in Africa, but also in Asia. Homo erectus is believed to have migrated from Africa during the Early Pleistocene, around 2.0 million years ago, reaching as far as Southeast Asia.

Homo erectus exhibits many features particular to the species, including a long skull shaped with thick cranial walls. Cranial capacities of Homo erectus average around 1000cc, which is far greater than earlier hominids. The dentition of Homo erectus is nearly identical to modern humans, although the cheek teeth do remain larger, and the mandible is generally more robust.

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