Homo Erectus

Here is the skull of Homo erectus.

Homo habilis is thought to have evolved into Homo erectus.  This process is believed to have occurred from 1.6 million years ago to 300 000 years ago.  It is from Homo erectus that Homo sapiens later arise.  It is the general belief that habilis, erectus and sapiens evolved along a single lineage.  By the middle of the Plesitocene, Homo erectus is believed to  possess  fairly modern human attributes.  These features include a rounded skull, a steeper face, smaller teeth and a greater cranial capacity( 1000cc) which continues to increase with the forms' progression through time.   Erectus is often called a world-traveller for it was the first hominid species to leave the African cradle.  Erectus is believed to have spread from Africa to Asia-China and Java.  This migration is dated as early as 1.7 million years ago.
 Erectus had a brain the size of a one-year-old modern human.  The face of Homo erectus was not that different from its forebearers.  It still had protruding jaws, no chin, thick brow ridges, and a long low skull.  Its teeth were  smaller than those of Homo habilis. This species grew to be up to 6 feet and they were slender which gave them ample surface area for sweating, an advantage in the tropics.  Their hips were narrower than those of other hominids; this gave them great speed.  They also had robust bones which helped them through a physically-demanding life.  The hole in a vertebra, smaller than that of a modern humans,  carried a spinal cord which was probably too small for true speech. Since Homo erectus was a meat-eater it did not need the powerful jaws that  Homo habilis and earlier forms would have needed for grinding coarse vegetation.
  Some erectus skulls show mulitple healed fractures.  They can have as many as seven or eight of these cranial scars.  This suggests to some anthropologists that erectus may have engaged in either skull bashing warfare or ritual activity or, that Homo erectus may have been hunting more dangerous, big game with its more advanced weaponry.

    The culture of the erectus form is coined "Acheulian". The tools of Homo erectus are more elaborate, diverse and sophisticated than the tools of Homo habilis.  The use of fire has been determined to have been widespread by half a million years ago.

      Homo erectus invented the hand axe.  It is believed that Homo erectus and other predators were avoiding each other by this time.  The Homoerectus brain size is believed to suggest that  it was too small for reasoning or imagining.  Yet, erectus  was much more capable of exploiting its environment than were its precursors.  It is believed that Homo erectus had better hunting and foraging skills,  and a greater ability to move into more marginal ecological niches than did earlier hominids.