Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Shara E. Bailey
Homo erectus (literally “upright man”) is an extinct hominin that lived between 1.8 million and 50,000 years ago. The first fossil found of this species (the type specimen) was a skullcap discovered in 1891 by Eugène Dubois. However, the species was not named until 1894, after a femur (thigh bone) was discovered not far from the skullcap. The femur was nearly identical to that of a modern human, prompting Dubois to name a new species: Pithecanthropus erectus (literally “upright apeman”). Both fossils were found in Trinil, Java. The type specimen was named “Trinil 2” and the femur “Trinil 3.” They are more commonly known as “Java Man.” In 1927, Davidson Black named a new species Sinanthropus erectus (literally “Northern upright man”), based on a tooth discovered at Zhoukoudian near Bejing (Peking), China. The later discovery of 14 calvaria (skull caps), limb bones, and many more teeth strengthened his claim. erectus ...