Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Homo Erectus

  • Michael Chazan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3435-1


Homo erectus is a species on the hominin lineage that appears in the fossil records approximately 1.8 million years ago. Homo erectus is associated with a significant increase in brain size, developments in stone tool technology, and dispersal out of Africa.


The appearance of Homo erectus around 1.8 million years ago marks a significant shift in the hominin lineage (the lineage leading to modern humans after the divergence from the chimpanzee lineage). There is debate among paleoanthropologists as to the unity of Homo erectus as a species and some choose to designate early African fossils as a separate species Homo ergaster. The discovery of five complete skulls at the site of Dminisi, Georgia demonstrates remarkable anatomical variability within a Homo erectus group from a single time horizon leading some paleoanthropologists to identify a series of distinct species (Lordkipanidze et al. 2013). Setting aside debates about the anatomical variability within Homo...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christopher D. Watkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Psychology, School of Social and Health SciencesAbertay UniversityDundeeUK