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Anthropology: H.Erectus, Essay Example

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Words: 250

Essay

Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid and most recognized species of the homo genus. A population similar to H. erectus is widely accepted to be the direct ancestors of the earliest members of the species Homo sapien, though exactly when and how the transformation occurred is still in debate. There is a wealth of information on H. erectus, including biological changes directly related to the cultural strategies of H. erectus.

By looking at the biological characteristics along with cultural strategies of H. erectus in specific time periods and comparing them with biological characteristics and cultural strategies from different time periods, we can see how the biological and cultural relate. One of the strongest areas for observing this is in hunting. As H. erectus relied more on hunting natural selection did its work. Individuals with stronger skulls and who were thicker in certain areas of the body had a better survival rate. Increased hunting brought on increases in size in the frontal and parietal areas of the brain. Advances in tools for hunting and gathering caused changes in the formation of the jaw and decreased cranial crests. Natural selection favored smaller teeth.

As H. erectus embraced hunting and gathering, both culturally and biologically, they began to spread out in smaller groups and moved further than ever before into Asia and Europe. The quest for new gathering grounds and following herds led groups out of Africa. The different habitats throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe led to increased biological variability among H. erectus.

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