Talk:Homo erectus

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2014 article on geometrical carvings[edit]

I thought this Discovery article might be of interest here. It discusses a 540,000-year old mollusk shell with geometrical carvings apparently made by Homo erectus. Bms4880 (talk) 19:19, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


Under "Use of fire" this article quotes Hominid Use of Fire, James [1]. In Steven James' paper, he speaks of clay or ceramic clasts, but no where suggests that Homo erectus was making pottery or potsherds. I'm tagging it with "OR". Kortoso (talk) 23:49, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

What the heck, I just took it out, since the article doesn't mention it. Kortoso (talk) 16:04, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. TimidGuy (talk) 16:13, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Archive 1 summary[edit]

I went ahead and made the first archive. I skimmed through the whole thing (yeah, I guess I was procrastinating on something) and the only things that seemed to be unaddressed were a request for pictures of tools (not sure if that's even possible) and the extinction hypotheses, which is what personally drew me here. II | (t - c) 06:33, 6 October 2015 (UTC)


Extinction hypotheses[edit]

In the past, there have been a few requests for elaborating on extinction hypotheses. So the lead suggests that this may have been caused by Toba catastrophe theory, but it doesn't cite a source, and that page discusses the genetic bottleneck theory rather than hominim extinctions. The Hominina article repeats the Toba catastrophe claim, again without citations. Personally, I'm interested in the hypotheses for each of the extinctions.

Our prehistoric relatives also existed through the Quaternary extinction event.

One interesting article is Mankind's Genealogy: Theory and Facts which discusses sort of an odd "monocentric" versus "polycentric" approach:

The Neanderthals lost competition with the superior species, so, like all the preceding species, they quitted the “evolution arena” without leaving progeny. This monocentric point of view is still dominant in anthropology but it is not the only one: the theory of multiregional evolution has been gaining increasingly more supporters lately. According to it, Homo sapiens could have evolved both in Africa and in Eurasia – wherever Homo erectus settled and gradually and independently “sapiensated,” i.e. evolved towards the behaviorally and anatomically modern human. Suggesting that there were several, rather than one, center of anthropogenesis, this theory allows seeing the hominin evolution scale in a new light and further develop our ideas of how the humans made it to the very top

Note that it appears to be accepted these days that we have Neanderthal mixed in; at least that's what my genetic report says. There is also the intereting Genetic traces of ancient demography which provides this mysterious quote:

"Most of the familiar specimens of Homo erectus and of archaic humans known from the Pleistocene were not members of populations ancestral to us, instead “the fate of most such populations appears to be tragic” (13).

Digging up that cited article (13) Footprints of intragenic recombination at HLA loci, I found this conclusion:

The analysis suggests that the recombination rate between two sites 1000 base pairs apart is about 10–5 per generation and that the effective size of human populations (equivalent roughly to the number of breeding individuals in a randomly mating population) has dropped from 105 to 104 in most of the Quaternary. One possibility for this reduction is discussed.

Unfortunately, I do not have access to this paper.

Perhaps referencing that research, I found IJN Thorpe's The ancient origins of warfare and violence which starts off be commenting on the genetic research estimates that Homo erectus declined precipitously (to about 1000 individuals) about 500,000 years ago, quoting a researcher who believes that Homo sapiens may have been responsible, although the author of the paper doesn't go into that hypothesis really (or seems skeptical of it)..

I hope to build on this and trace a bit better idea of where the current research is pointing. II | (t - c) 07:02, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Someone needs to find out when the youngest Homo erectus fossil was found and it's age. It says at the top that it was 35k BP. Aside from that one reference, the rest of the article talks about stuff that happened at least a million years before. Arglebargle79 (talk) 20:29, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

The first sentence says, "nearly extinct." I don't think that belongs, but I left it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Redirects section[edit]

Hi. For such an important page detailing human evolution, should the redirects section include things like "For the seahorse species, see Hippocampus erectus. For the 2007 comedy film, see Homo Erectus (film)." I havn't used the Talk feature of Wikipedia before, so apologies if this is not the right place for my query. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Previously referred taxa[edit]

The speculation about Homo floriensis and orang pendek is unsourced OR and pseudoscience. Concur on removal? Kortoso (talk) 19:19, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Cryptid nonsense should always be immediately deleted. (talk) 13:26, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Cooking July 2016[edit]

I edited the "Cooking" section to reflect the sentence and reference immediately above in the "Use of fire" section. The references in the text were from 2009, 1986, and 1972. I can not believe that a 44 year reference contains contemporary facts, and the conclusions drawn from them. Every reference in the "Use of fire" section is more recent then the two references to support the "not generally accepted" statement (that I removed). How can a thirty year old reference support what is currently generally accepted?!? So I removed the text, and replaced it with new text and a reference from 2015. That should be indicative of current thinking. Nick Beeson (talk) 17:06, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

I removed this text—
And Fire There is no archaeological evidence that Homo erectus cooked their food. The idea has been suggested,<ref>Wrangham, Richard (2009). Catching Fire. Basic Books.</ref> but is not generally accepted.<ref>Zihlman, Adrienne; Tanner, Nancy (1972). "Gathering and the Hominid Adaptation". In Tiger, Lionel; Fowler, Heather T. (eds.). Female Hierarchies. Beresford Book Service. pp. 220–229.</ref><ref>Fedigan, Linda Marie (1986). "The Changing Role of Women in Models of Human Evolution". Annual Review of Anthropology. 15: 25–66. doi:10.1146/</ref>

Physical description?[edit]

No section for this yet. A study throws cold water on the estimate of Turkana boy's maximum adult stature: Just how strapping was KNM-WT 15000? Kortoso (talk) 18:17, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Would love to see that. It's what I came looking for. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 02:43, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
I also came to the article to see how large they were compared to us.PopSci (talk) 01:58, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
From what I gathered from different sources over the years they pretty much were like us modern humans though they had a huge brow ridge and almost no forehead, with a jaw that stuck out. I can think of people that superficially look similar, and the Kow Swamp skulls are an instance of that, so they probably would be able to walk around in a large city just fine in modern clothing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

lead should summarize topic[edit]

The lead should summarize the topic and be able to stand alone as a concise summary of the article. This one only covers the technical topics of defining or classifying H erectus but never describes what the H erectus were, e.g. social, tool-using humans who spread across Asia. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 02:45, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Documentaries about homo erectus[edit]

I'm not sure if a list of videos about homo erectus would be a good idea as a section in this article or as a separate page, but I think it's really useful to have a list with such resources. I've found the following videos on YouTube:

  • BBC Planet of the Apemen Battle for Earth 1of2 Homo Erectus
  • First Humans Episode 2 - Birth of Homo Erectus

 Ark25  (talk) 19:09, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

1.89 million and 143.000[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nhannhan1 (talkcontribs) 18:20, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

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Homo capensis[edit]

When searching for homo capensis I was lead to this article, where it isn't mentioned at all. However I think it deserves its own page, not only because there is a lot of conspiracy theories about of this purported species, but more importantly because people claim skulls from the species actually exist in museums in Peru. These skulls eerily remind you of human skulls, except for the way that they are elongated into coneheads. However because of the anatomy of those skulls, there is reason to believe that they are in fact not artificially elongated, like alluded to in the article about the human Paracas culture—where such elongation isn't mentioned at all except for a single link to the Wikipedia article about artificial cranial deformation. Additionally there are other differences in the skull that indicate that it belonged to another species entirely. On top of that, an independent DNA test has purportedly shown that this species was indeed unable to breed with humans. The conspiracy theory—which I think also deserves mention—is the claim that this species had a higher intelligence than regular humans, and thus used it to control them, and in fact that they might even do it to this day. Now, of course, I don't believe any of that hokey pokey, but I think the information, and the fact that these skulls actually exist, makes it interesting enough to deserve its own page, or possibly as an addition to the article about the Paracas culture. Kebman (talk) 06:52, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

The proper target for Homo capensis is Boskop Man. Afaik on purely morphological grounds, "Capoids" (Khoi-San) arguably qualify as a separate species of Homo, but for obvious reasons anthropologists are reluctant to there. I would be interested in references for the things you mention, especially the DNA test. --dab (𒁳) 10:41, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

The Griquas (a Dutch-Khoikhoi mix) are one good reason not to separate off the Khoisan peoples. The problem is that there are two many species concepts for species to be a secure concept. RichardW57 (talk) 00:41, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Khoi-san qualify as a separate species of Homo? WTF? Are you serious? I knew you had descended into alti-right style racism lately, but that is extreme even for alt right types. There is absolutely no criterion under which that argument can be supported.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:25, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Point being is even if they somehow were another species of human (which they ain't even a different subspecies), they are still fully human. Much like Neanderthal, and other modern people groups. (talk) 01:25, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Major races of H. Sapiens are not materially different from what we call subspecies in other taxa. --Ghirla-трёп- 21:14, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Except that there are no scientifically recognized "major races" of Homo sapiens and therefore the argument is void. Considering human continental populations to be close to subspecies is an extreme position that is ont found within any mainstream works on human biological diversity since the 1960s. Dab's claim goes beyond even that to segregate Khoisan people as a separate species - not even subspecies. And he uses innuendo of political correctnes to smear the integrity of the entire field of paleoanthropology as being primarily politically motivated when they confirm the fact that Khoisan people are of course homo sapiens in every thinkable definition of that word. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:50, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
"I knew you had descended into alti-right style racism lately". This is unacceptable behavior on Wikipedia. I have observed you have gone off the deep end with the politicization of anthropology, but this is beyond the pale, and should properly be dealt with on an administrative level under WP:NPA.
I have no interest in "racism" whatsoever, you are the one who keeps dragging it into anthropological discussion. Your "WTF?" is what I mean by "obvious reasons", objective classification of Homo has become a political minefield because of misguided ideological hysteria as exhibited by you. That's fine. What isn't "fine" is your smear-campaign against perfectly reasonable anthropology which just so happens to use terminology some people have decided is now "racist" beginning c. 2010. This is insane. "Racism" is an ideology attaching value judgement to racial classification. I invite you to show any statement by me that makes such value judgements. It is you who appears to keep implying that it isn't possible to make biological distinctions without attaching value judgements. You seem to be railing against your own conclusions by projecting them onto me. At the very least, you aren't attacking me for any position I either hold or have expressed.
Ghirla's statement is correct, the major races of H. sapiens would normally be categorized as subspecies, and on their extreme ends possibly as species. Any palaeoanthropologist will be aware of this as a perfectly unremarkable fact. The reason this is not done is proper caution, because the "Maunuses" of this world will become apoplectic over any possibly dubious proposal regarding classification of Homo, while they will not be bothered in the least over similar classification of Corvus or Canis etc. --dab (𒁳) 10:32, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
No both his statement and yours is uninformed in the extreme about the way that paleoanthropologists make taxonomical decisions. You cannot find a single paleoanthropological mainstream work that would support your claim that Khoisan peoples could be meaningfully set off from Homo sapiens as either a subspecies or a separate species within the genus. The claim is uite frankly ludicrous, and can only be found in the most ideologically colored webfora on the extreme right. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:53, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
>No mainstream work claims Khoisan can be set off as a genetic group.
Why is Maunus lying? (talk) 08:39, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
That's one of the most ridiculous, knee-jerk extreme-left reactions to a reasonable scientific view that differs from your own that I've ever read on Wiki TP's. No one was being "racist" in any way whatsoever. This comment was made a little while back, and I hope since then you have calmed down and don't react in personal rants again during a rational discussion of the improvement of an article. (talk) 07:58, 30 March 2019 (UTC)