Genus Homo

∞ generated and posted on 2016.11.05 ∞

Large-brained, upright-walking apes.

Genus Homo consists of those animals that are most human like as well as humans themselves, differing from other animals that have lived in terms of a combination of bipedalism and substantially large brains as well as perhaps an obligate dependency on the use of a diversity of fabricated tools to survive.

Our genus, that is, we are members of the species, Homo sapiens. More than a half dozen additional species are members of this genus including, in order of appearance in the fossil record, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo neanderthalensis. The oldest genus Homo fossils date back only approximately 2.5 million years, which is about 0.1% of the time that life has existed on Earth.

Note the importance of "large brained" in defining this genus. Whereas the upright-walking australopiths possessed brains which were of similar size to those of chimpanzees, the first members of genus Homo began a trend towards increasing brain size, resulting, eventually, in the formation of the extremely large brains seen in Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and, of course, Homo sapiens.

Radio (Consideration of a small population of fossilized members of genus Homo as found in Dmanisi, Georgia)