Homo Erectus

Homo erectus the 'upright man' is a prehistoric hominid species, possibly the precursor of modern humans. This level of anthropogenesis is a crucial moment in the human evolution. Although, strictly anatomically, there are some features that still may be considered 'primitive,' the whole evolution of Human erectus falls in the direction of accumulation of both anatomical and especially cultural elements and Homo erectus and Homo sapiens are the most important phases in the human evolution of the modern man.

It has a stature of more than 1.50 meters tall and a cranial average volume of 1000 cm3. Homo erectus skull is elongated and flattened with relatively flattened forehead, with massive walls, at least some copies, and a smaller chin than its predecessors, such as Homo ergaster. The dentition and the limbs, especially the arms are much more similar to those of Homo sapiens.

Probably the most important achievement on the anatomical level is the skull growth and so it is formulated the hypothesis of a cerebral Rubicon, the growth of brain mass with mostly qualitative changes rather than simply quantitative ones such as the increasing of the number of neural connections and the development of convolution system or the specifications of the cortical area. There are, however, several elements that must be considered, first, the great variability of the species and then, particularly, the evolutionary potential. Covering a very long period of time, the differences between the first and last known copies are quite large. Moreover, there are also met some regional differences. Furthermore it is assumed that cultural acquisitions have now a much greater role in adaptation and survival of individuals mostly due to the expansion of the human species out of Africa.

Even if the polycentric hypothesis is highly politicized in our times, the directions of expansion, however, seem to indicate the African origin for human populations all over the world.

Given the fact that the earliest specimens of Homo erectus outside Africa are in areas that today are tropical or sub-tropical, it is easier to sustain the spread of the species on ecological niches.