Homo habilis lived in sub-Saharan Africa between 2.6 and 1.5 million years ago, during the Lower Paleolithic era. It is thought to have descended from the australopithecines. The habilis face was less protruding compared to australopithecines and most probably used primitive tools in a habitual way (thus the term “habilis,” or “handy”). The levels of intelligence and social organization in H. habilis are most probably more sophisticated than among australopithecines or chimpanzees.
The Australopithecina (australopiths) are a subtribe of the Hominini (hominin) tribe, which is also called the human clade. The australopiths are thus the closest relatives of the human genus Homo, from which emerged modern humans (Homo sapiens). Australopithecus species are also called the gracile australopiths, while the Paranthrophus species are the robust australopiths. The Ardipithecus appeared earlier, and may have been the ancestors of the other australopiths. Continue reading “Australopiths”