Difference Between Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus

Homo Habilis vs Homo Erectus

Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus are two interesting species of the human or hominid evolution, and both are two extinct species. However, it is always confusing for an average person to figure out whether it was Homo habils or Homo erectus that lived earlier.

Until recent findings about their skeletons from Africa, it was believed that one occurred after the other, but the new discoveries made the scientists to believe that they both coexisted with each other in Africa and different parts of the world for a considerable period.

All those descriptions can be clearly understood by going through the presented information about these two hominids. Additionally, a summarized comparison between the two species would provide more sense to the reader in understanding the difference between H. Habilis and H. erectus.

What is Homo habilis?

This is an interesting and important hominid species, which is believed to have formed the bridge between erectus and Australopithecines. However, they also lived with both these species together in different times.

It has been a common agreement that these hominids were the first to evolve of the Genus: Homo. Therefore, they were believed to be the least related to modern man. However, the recent findings suggest that there was another Homo species (H. rudolfensis) fossil older than habilis.

The discovered fossils of the habilis man have been named using different combinations of letters and numbers by scientists, and some of those include KNM ER 1813, OH 24, OH 07, and many more. Those fossils date back to different times, and those suggest the habilis man lived between 1.4 and 2 million years from today.

Their cranial capacity ranged from 360 to 600 cm3, which is much smaller compared to the human and H.erectus. The skulls of the habilis man had a protruded structure but not as much as the chimpanzees and Australopithecines, and the face was larger than the braincase.

The social structures and other activities are believed to be more sophisticated in habilis than in Australopithecines. They were skilful creatures with an advanced use of tools, but there is no evidence on the use of fire. H. habilis was only about four feet and three inches tall, and they were not robust looking.

What is Homo erectus?

Homo erectus was one of the hominid species, which is now extinct from the world. They were the first to stand in a standard upright posture out of all the hominids, and that has given their species name erectus. According to the fossil evidences, they lived until 1.3 million years from today and the earliest Homo erectus fossil dates back to 1.8 million years.

Until recent findings about the fossils of Homo habilis, it was believed that H. erectus descended into H. habilis. However, now the scientists state that both these species lived together for at least 500,000 years. H. erectus was the first to move out from Africa, and they have gone into many places of the world as their fossils from different regions of the world suggest.

They were intelligent as you like with some had cranial capacities up to 1,100 cm3, but some had about 850 cm3. The face profile was not much protruded like in Australopithecus, and erectus man was averagely 5 feet and 10 inches tall.

Additionally, the females were considerably smaller than males (by 25%). There are evidences to suggest that they used fire and tools in easing their functions. Furthermore, they have used rafts to cross water bodies that measure up to even oceans.

What is the difference between Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus?

  • Erectus was taller and more robust than many Homo species while habilis was a small species, measuring about little over four feet.
  • Erectus is closer in evolutionary relationship with human compared to habilis.
  • Erectus had pronounced sexual dimorphism than habilis had.
  • Erectus was more intelligent compared to habilis.
  • The upright posture is more pronounced in erectus than in habilis.
  • Teeth were larger in habilis than in erectus.

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