Homo erectus: The first large-brained humans
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Homo erectus lived from approximately 2 million to around 400,000 years ago.

Homo erectus is a large brained species, with adult brains ranging from 900 to 1200 cc. This size range means that the larger brained individuals of this species exhibit a fifty-percent increase in brain size over the older Homo habilis. The largest brain sizes of H. erectus fall within the range of modern humans, although the H. erectus brain is configured somewhat differently than our own.

The nearly complete skull shown above left was found in Africa; the skull at right is a composite reconstructed from the remains of several indviduals from China. The nearly full skeleton of a teen-age boy, 12 or 13, who lived 1.65 years ago was found near what is now Lake Turkana in east Africa. He was five feet, four inches tall, and his body is remarkably modern looking. This is the most complete find of an ancient human ancestor yet discovered, and it has provided a wealth of information. Our ancestors were both powerful and graceful, and perfectly adapted to bi-pedal locomotion.


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