HOMO-ERECTUS (upright man)
The very latest research I have found since writing Part I of Evolution of Mankind may cancel out Homo-erectus and Homo-hibilis and perhaps, therefore, their sub-species. It had been believed that Homo-erectus and Homo-hibilis were wandering the earth 2,400,000 or more years ago and that they came out of Africa and migrated into Asia and parts of Europe 500,000 years ago. However, since five (5) skulls were found in Dmanisi, in the Republic of Georgia, which is situate between Western Asia and Eastern Europe, in the Caucasus Region of the Urals, close to Africa, and on the border of the Black Sea, anthropologists believe Homo-erectus may have been Homo-sapien from the beginning of the Pliocene Age. Therefore, they, including their sub-species, would be sub-species of Homo-sapien.
These skulls may actually represent variations among members of a single, evolving lineage of the Homo-sapien. One of the skulls which were excavated was the first adult humanoid skull completely preserved of such antiquity. The skull had a long face, large teeth, and a tiny braincase about one-third the size of a modern human being. The shape of the small braincase distinguished them from the more primitive Australopithecus genus (shown below) which preceded the time period of Homo-hibilis and lived for many centuries with Homo-hibilis in Africa. The humanoids who left the fossils were quite different from one another but still members of one species (as we humans are all different today); similar but varied in different bone structure. Tools were also found dating to around 2,600,000 years ago.
All five skulls and bones were found in underground dens suggesting grisly scenes. Humanoids of this time period lived among carnivores, including saber-toothed cats and an extinct giant cheetah. They probably had been attacked and killed by these carnivores and their carcasses dragged into the dens for the after-hunt feast. The bone limbs found were long and date back to as early as 3,900,000 years ago (see below). These limbs enabled them to walk long distances as fully upright bipeds.
Evidence of the wide range of migrations of these humanoids have been found in the fossil remains found on the island of Java dating to 1,800,000 years ago; in a Peking, China cave from 78,000 years ago to 300,000 years ago; in Algeria; and also in Eastern and Northwestern Africa. Specimens were also discovered in Germany and Greece. A site on the French Riviera seems to have been occupied by them for it contained the earliest and least disputed evidence of controlled fire dated at around 300,000 years ago. They made simple ovens with hot stones.
In 2003, another sub-species of Homo-erectus (now perhaps Homo-sapien) dating to 50,000 years ago, was found on the island of Flores. The species was named Homo-floesiensis (Man of Flores), but they were also named for Tolkein’s “hobbits” because of their small stature. They had a larger brain, as discovered by Japanese scientists, then was once believed; therefore, it is affirmed that they could be the sub-species of Homo-erectus. It was determined that, once this species migrated to this island, they never left the island to migrate elsewhere. Because of this, their descendants became smaller than the body of Homo-erectus because, over time, there was not enough food available. This phenomenon is known as “insular dwarfism”. The island also had evidence of pigmy elephants.
HOMO-ERGASTER (working man)
This sub-species was mostly found in East Africa and the bones date back as early as 3,900,000 years ago. As with Homo-erectus, they could also be Homo-sapien because of the new research. This was the first species to look more like modern humans because they were tall and slender and perhaps hairless.
For the next post, Part III, we shall continue with Homo-sapien (Man the Wise or Wise Man) and explore the stages of human development, including the Neanderthals now spelled Neandertal due to the German pronunciation