Origins and definition of genus Homo

Homo is the genus of great apes that includes modern humans and species closely related to them. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old, having evolved from Australopithecus ancestors, with the appearance of Homo habilis.

The most salient physiological development of Homo is the increase in cranial capacity, from about 450cc in Australopithecus to 600cc in Homo habilis. Within the Homo genus, cranial capacity gained quickly from Homo habilis through Homo erectus.

The advent of Homo coincides with the first evidence of stone tools (the Oldowan industry), and thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Palaeolithic. The emergence of Homo coincides roughly with the onset of Quaternary glaciation, the beginning of the current hyper-intense ice age cycles.

Australopithecus coexists with early genus Homo for almost a million years.

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