Hominin Expansion

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Hominin expansion throughout most of Africa occurred with Australopithecines, Paranthropus, and early Homo habilis. Each species was advancing, and adapting to their various habitats. However, a new homo was entering the playing field, which was not only biologically modern but was capable of creating tools. This new species is known as Homo ergaster/erectus, and they were on the verge of breaking out into new territory. This group would soon leave the cradle of Africa and traverse to Asia, and possibly beyond. Yet what was it about these new individuals, which enabled them to expand out of Africa? Homo ergaster/erectus were more in line with modern human body proportions when compared to their predecessors. Their legs were longer than their arms; they are also taller than previous hominins. Homo ergaster/erectus showed a reduced amount of sexual dimorphism between the sexes (Dennell, 2003:423; Dennell and Roebroeks, 2005:1099). The importance of limb proportions is the ability to cover larger distance across open ground. This upright posture would have also been beneficial to ergaster/erectus as a means of dispersing heat, enabling them to cover longer distances (Dennell, 2003:423). Thereby allowing ergaster/erectus to utilize more resources in a variety of areas. Hominins seemed to have adapted from a mosaic …show more content…
As climates fluctuated, and supplies either dried up or moved away ergaster/erectus with modern body proportions was able to follow their prey into new territories (Dennell, 2003:423; Dennell and Roebroeks, 2005:1100). The Pliocene grasslands which had originally spread from north Africa into south and southwest Asia were still plentiful during the Pleistocene (Dennell, 2003:426). Therefore, ergaster/erectus were dispersing into familiar habitats (Dennell, 2003:431; Dennell and Roebroeks, 2005:1102; Derricourt,

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