Neanderthal thumbs better adapted to holding tools with handles

Neanderthal thumbs were better adapted to holding tools in the same way that we hold a hammer, according to a paper published in Scientific Reports. The findings suggest that Neanderthals may have found precision grips—where ...

When did humans first go to war?

When modern humans arrived in Europe around 40,000 years ago, they made a discovery that was to change the course of history.

Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians

Researchers have analyzed the genome of the oldest human fossil found in Mongolia to date and show that the 34,000-year-old woman inherited around 25 percent of her DNA from western Eurasians, demonstrating that people moved ...

New Denisovan DNA expands diversity, history of species

While the continents of Africa and Europe have been obvious and fruitful treasure troves for exploration and discovery of our modern human origins, Asia has been somewhat overlooked. Scientists have thought that modern humans ...

Modern humans took detours on their way to Europe

Favorable climatic conditions influenced the sequence of settlement movements of Homo sapiens in the Levant on their way from Africa to Europe. In a first step, modern humans settled along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. ...

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A human is a member of a species of bipedal primates in the family Hominidae (taxonomically Homo sapiens—Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man"). DNA and fossil evidence indicates that modern humans originated in east Africa about 200,000 years ago . When compared to other animals and primates, humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the forelimbs (arms) for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species. Humans are distributed worldwide, with significant populations inhabiting most land areas of Earth. The human population on Earth is greater than 6.7 billion, as of February 2009,

Like most higher primates, humans are social by nature. Humans are particularly adept at utilizing systems of communication—primarily spoken, gestural, and written language—for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws, which together form the basis of human society. Humans are distinctive as a species on the Earth by having a perception of beauty and aesthetics at least to a point which results in a material culture. This, when combined with the desire for self-expression and a proportionally large brain-size, has led to innovations such as art, written language, music and science.

Humans seek to understand and influence the environment around them by trying to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through philosophy, art, science, mythology, and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills. Although humans are not the only species to use tools, they are unique in building fires, cooking their food, and clothing themselves; as well as using other advanced technologies. Humans pass down their skills and knowledge to the next generations and so are regarded as dependent upon culture.

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