Homo

Homo (Latin: homō, "human being") is the genus which emerged in the otherwise extinct genus Australopithecus that encompasses the extant species Homo sapiens (modern humans), plus several extinct species classified as either ancestral to or closely related to modern humans (depending on a species), most notably Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. The genus is taken to emerge with the appearance of Homo habilis, just over two million years ago.[2] Genus Homo, together with the genus Paranthropus is probably sister to A. africanus in the genus Australopithecus, which itself had previously split from the lineage of Pan, the chimpanzees.[3][4]

Homo erectus appeared about two million years ago and, in several early migrations, it spread throughout Africa (where it is dubbed Homo ergaster) and Eurasia. It was likely the first human species to live in a hunter-gatherer society and to control fire. An adaptive and successful species, Homo erectus persisted for more than a million years, and gradually diverged into new species by around 500,000 years ago.[5]

Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) emerged close to 300,000 to 200,000 years ago,[6] most likely in Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis emerged at around the same time in Europe and Western Asia. H. sapiens dispersed from Africa in several waves, from possibly as early as 250,000 years ago, and certainly by 130,000 years ago, the so-called Southern Dispersal beginning about 70,000 years ago leading to the lasting colonisation of Eurasia and Oceania by 50,000 years ago. Both in Africa and Eurasia, H. sapiens met with and interbred with[7][8] archaic humans. Separate archaic (non-sapiens) human species are thought to have survived until around 40,000 years ago (Neanderthal extinction), with possible late survival of hybrid species as late as 12,000 years ago (Red Deer Cave people).

Homo
Temporal range: Piacenzian-Present, 2.8–0 Ma
Homo erectus adult female - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17
Forensic reconstruction of an adult female Homo erectus[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: Homininae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus: Homo
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Homo sapiens
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

For other species or subspecies suggested, see below.

Synonyms

Names and taxonomy

Homininae
Evolutionary tree chart emphasizing the subfamily Homininae and the tribe Hominini. After diverging from the line to Ponginae the early Homininae split into the tribes Hominini and Gorillini. The early Hominini split further, separating the line to Homo from the lineage of Pan. Currently, tribe Hominini designates the subtribes Hominina, containing genus Homo; Panina, genus Pan; and Australopithecina, with several extinct genera—the subtribes are not labelled on this chart.
Homo lineage 2017update
A model of the evolution of the genus Homo over the last 2 million years (vertical axis). The rapid "Out of Africa" expansion of H. sapiens is indicated at the top of the diagram, with admixture indicated with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and unspecified archaic African hominins. Late survival of robust australopithecines (Paranthropus) alongside Homo until 1.2 Mya is indicated in purple.
See Homininae for an overview of taxonomy.

The Latin noun homō (genitive hominis) means "human being" or "man" in the generic sense of "human being, mankind".[9] The binomial name Homo sapiens was coined by Carl Linnaeus (1758).[10] Names for other species of the genus were introduced beginning in the second half of the 19th century (H. neanderthalensis 1864, H. erectus 1892).

Even today, the genus Homo has not been properly defined.[11][12][13] Since the early human fossil record began to slowly emerge from the earth, the boundaries and definitions of the genus Homo have been poorly defined and constantly in flux. Because there was no reason to think it would ever have any additional members, Carl Linnaeus did not even bother to define Homo when he first created it for humans in the 18th century. The discovery of Neanderthal brought the first addition.

The genus Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its member species can be classified as human. And, over the decades of the 20th century, fossil finds of pre-human and early human species from late Miocene and early Pliocene times produced a rich mix for debating classifications. There is continuing debate on delineating Homo from Australopithecus—or, indeed, delineating Homo from Pan, as one body of scientists argues that the two species of chimpanzee should be classed with genus Homo rather than Pan. Even so, classifying the fossils of Homo coincides with evidence of: 1) competent human bipedalism in Homo habilis inherited from the earlier Australopithecus of more than four million years ago, as demonstrated by the Laetoli footprints; and 2) human tool culture having begun by 2.5 million years ago.

From the late-19th to mid-20th centuries, a number of new taxonomic names including new generic names were proposed for early human fossils; most have since been merged with Homo in recognition that Homo erectus was a single and singular species with a large geographic spread of early migrations. Many such names are now dubbed as "synonyms" with Homo, including Pithecanthropus,[14] Protanthropus,[15] Sinanthropus,[16] Cyphanthropus,[17] Africanthropus,[18] Telanthropus,[19] Atlanthropus,[20] and Tchadanthropus.[21]

Classifying the genus Homo into species and subspecies is subject to incomplete information and remains poorly done. This has led to using common names ("Neanderthal" and "Denisovan") in even scientific papers to avoid trinomial names or the ambiguity of classifying groups as incertae sedis (uncertain placement)—for example, H. neanderthalensis vs. H. sapiens neanderthalensis, or H. georgicus vs. H. erectus georgicus.[22] Some recently extinct species in the genus Homo are only recently discovered and do not as yet have consensus binomial names (see Denisova hominin and Red Deer Cave people).[23] Since the beginning of the Holocene, it is likely that Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans) has been the only extant species of Homo.

John Edward Gray (1825) was an early advocate of classifying taxa by designating tribes and families.[24] Wood and Richmond (2000) proposed that Hominini ("hominins") be designated as a tribe that comprised all species of early humans and pre-humans ancestral to humans back to after the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor; and that Hominina be designated a subtribe of Hominini to include only the genus Homo—that is, not including the earlier upright walking hominins of the Pliocene such as Australopithecus, Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus, or Sahelanthropus.[25] Designations alternative to Hominina existed, or were offered: Australopithecinae (Gregory & Hellman 1939) and Preanthropinae (Cela-Conde & Altaba 2002);[26][27][28] and later, Cela-Conde and Ayala (2003) proposed that the four genera Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Praeanthropus, and Sahelanthropus be grouped with Homo within Hominina.[29]

Evolution

See Hominini and Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor for the separation of Australopithecina and Panina.

Australopithecus

Australopithecus afarensis adult male - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17
Forensic reconstruction of A. afarensis[30]

Several species, including Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus sediba, Australopithecus africanus, and Australopithecus afarensis, have been proposed as the direct ancestor of the Homo lineage.[31][32] These species have morphological features that align them with Homo, but there is no consensus as to which gave rise to Homo.

Especially since the 2010s, the delineation of Homo from Australopithecus has become more contentious. Traditionally, the advent of Homo has been taken to coincide with the first use of stone tools (the Oldowan industry), and thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Palaeolithic. But in 2010, evidence was presented that seems to attribute the use of stone tools to Australopithecus afarensis around 3.3 million years ago, close to a million years before the first appearance of Homo.[33] LD 350-1, a fossil mandible fragment dated to 2.8 Mya, discovered in 2015 in Afar, Ethiopia, was described as combining "primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo.[34] Some authors would push the development of Homo close to or even past 3 Mya.[35] Others have voiced doubt as to whether Homo habilis should be included in Homo, proposing an origin of Homo with Homo erectus at roughly 1.9 Mya instead. [36]

The most salient physiological development between the earlier australopithecine species and Homo is the increase in endocranial volume (ECV), from about 460 cm3 (28 cu in) in A. garhi to 660 cm3 (40 cu in) in H. habilis and further to 760 cm3 (46 cu in) in H. erectus, 1,250 cm3 (76 cu in) in H. heidelbergensis and up to 1,760 cm3 (107 cu in) in H. neanderthalensis. However, a steady rise in cranial capacity is observed already in Autralopithecina and does not terminate after the emergence of Homo, so that it does not serve as an objective criterion to define the emergence of the genus.[37]

Homo habilis

Homo habilis
Forensic reconstruction of Homo habilis, exhibit in LWL-Museum für Archäologie, Herne, Germany (2007 photograph).[38]

Homo habilis emerged about 2.1 Mya. Already before 2010, there were suggestions that H. habilis should not be placed in genus Homo but rather in Australopithecus.[39][40] The main reason to include H. habilis in Homo, its undisputed tool use, has become obsolete with the discovery of Australopithecus tool use at least a million years before H. habilis.[33] Furthermore, H. habilis was long thought to be the ancestor of the more gracile Homo ergaster (Homo erectus). In 2007, it was discovered that H. habilis and H. erectus coexisted for a considerable time, suggesting that H. erectus is not immediately derived from H. habilis but instead from a common ancestor.[41] With the publication of Dmanisi skull 5 in 2013, it has become less certain that Asian H. erectus is a descendant of African H. ergaster which was in turn derived from H. habilis. Instead, H. ergaster and H. erectus appear to be variants of the same species, which may have originated in either Africa or Asia[42] and widely dispersed throughout Eurasia (including Europe, Indonesia, China) by 0.5 Mya.[43]

Homo erectus

Homo erectus has often been assumed to have developed anagenetically from Homo habilis from about 2 million years ago. This scenario was strengthened with the discovery of Homo erectus georgicus, early specimens of H. erectus found in the Caucasus, which seemed to exhibit transitional traits with H. habilis. As the earliest evidence for H. erectus was found outside of Africa, it was considered plausible that H. erectus developed in Eurasia and then migrated back to Africa. Based on fossils from the Koobi Fora Formation, east of Lake Turkana in Kenya, Spoor et al. (2007) argued that H. habilis may have survived beyond the emergence of H. erectus, so that the evolution of H. erectus would not have been anagenetically, and H. erectus would have existed alongside H. habilis for about half a million years (1.9 to 1.4 million years ago), during the early Calabrian.[44]

A separate South African species Homo gautengensis has been postulated as contemporary with Homo erectus in 2010.[45]

Phylogeny

A taxonomy of the Homo within the great apes is assessed as follows, with Paranthropus and Homo emerging within Australopithecus (shown here cladistically granting Paranthropus, Kenyanthropus, and Homo).[46][47][4][48][49][4][50][51][52][53][54][55] The exact phylogeny within Australopithecus is still highly controversial. Approximate radiation dates of daughter clades are shown in Millions of years ago (Mya). Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Ardipithecus, possibly sisters to Australopithecus, are not shown here. Note that the naming of groupings is sometimes muddled as often certain groupings are presumed before a cladistic analyses is performed.[52]

Hominoidea

Hylobatidae (gibbons)

Hominidae

Ponginae (orangutans)

Homininae

Gorillini (gorillas)

Hominini

Panina (chimpanzees)

Hominina

Australopithecus anamensis

Australopithecus afarensis

Australopithecus garhi

Australopithecus deyiremeda (†3.4)

Kenyanthropus platyops (†3.3)

Australopithecus africanus (†2.1)

Paranthropus (†1.2)

Homo

Homo floresiensis (†0.1)

Homo habilis (†1.5) Habilis Skull.png

Homo rudolfensis (†1.9) Rudolfensis Skull.png

H. erectus

Homo ergaster (†1.4) Ergaster Skull.png

Homo erectus s.s. ((†)0.14) Erectus Skull.png

Red Deer Cave people ((†)0.01)

(1.2)

Homo antecessor Antecessor Skull.png (†0.8)

(0.74)
H. heidelbergensis

H. heidelbergensis s.s. ((†)0.2)

(0.3)

H. neanderthalensis ((†)0.05)Neanderthalensis Skull.png

Denisova people ((†)0.05)

Homo sapiens Sapiens Skull.png

(1.9)

Australopithecus sediba (†2.0)

(3.4)
(5.7)
(6.3)
(8.8)
(15.7)
(20.4 Mya)

Several of the Homo lineages appear to have surviving progeny through introgression into other lines. An archaic lineage separating from the other human lineages 1.5 million years ago, perhaps H. erectus, may have interbred into the Denisovans about 55,000 years ago,[56][57][58][51][59] although H. erectus is generally regarded as being extinct by then.[60][61] However, the thigh bone, dated at 14,000 years, found in a Maludong cave (Red Deer Cave people) strongly resembles very ancient species like early Homo erectus or the even more archaic lineage, Homo habilis, which lived around 1.5 million year ago.[62][60] There is evidence for introgression of H. Heidelbergensis into H. sapiens.[63] The genomes of non-sub-Saharan African humans show what appear to be numerous independent introgression events involving Neanderthal and in some cases also Denisovans around 45,000 years ago.[64][59] Likewise the genetic structure of sub-Saharan Africans seems to be indicative of introgression from a distinct, as yet unidentified archaic human lineage such as H. heidelbergensis.[63]

Australopithecus sediba is poised to be renamed Homo Sediba due to its position with respect to e.g. Homo habilis and Homo floresiensis.[65][66][67][54][68][53]

Dispersal

By about 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus is present in both East Africa (Homo ergaster) and in Western Asia (Homo georgicus). The ancestors of Indonesian Homo floresiensis may have left Africa even earlier.[69]

Homo erectus and related or derived archaic human species over the next 1.5 million years spread throughout Africa and Eurasia.[70] Europe is reached by about 0.5 Mya by Homo heidelbergensis.

Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens develop after about 300 kya. Homo naledi is present in Southern Africa by 300 kya.

H. sapiens soon after its first emergence spread throughout Africa, and to Western Asia in several waves, possibly as early as 250 kya, and certainly by 130 kya. Most notable is the Southern Dispersal of H. sapiens around 60 kya, which led to the lasting peopling of Oceania and Eurasia by anatomically modern humans.[71] H. sapiens interbred with archaic humans both in Africa and in Eurasia, in Eurasia notably with Neanderthals and Denisovans. [72]

Among extant populations of Homo sapiens, the deepest temporal division is found in the San people of Southern Africa, estimated at close to 130,000 years,[73] or possibly more than 300,000 years ago.[74] Temporal division among non-Africans is of the order of 60,000 years in the case of Australo-Melanesians. Division of Europeans and East Asians is of the order of 50,000 years, with repeated and significant admixture events throughout Eurasia during the Holocene.

Archaic human species may have survived until the beginning of the Holocene (Red Deer Cave people), although they were mostly extinct or absorbed by the expanding H. sapiens populations by 40 kya (Neanderthal extinction).

List of species

The species status of H. rudolfensis, H. ergaster, H. georgicus, H. antecessor, H. cepranensis, H. rhodesiensis, H. neanderthalensis, Denisova hominin, Red Deer Cave people, and H. floresiensis remains under debate. H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis are closely related to each other and have been considered to be subspecies of H. sapiens.

There has historically been a trend to postulate "new human species" based on as little as an individual fossil. A "minimalist" approach to human taxonomy recognizes at most three species, Homo habilis (2.1–1.5 Mya, membership in Homo questionable), Homo erectus (1.8–0.1 Mya, including the majority of the age of the genus, and the majority of archaic varieties as subspecies,[75] including H. heidelbergensis as a late or transitional variety[76]) and Homo sapiens (300 kya to present, including H. neanderthalensis and other varieties as subspecies).

Comparative table of Homo species
Species Temporal range kya Habitat Adult height Adult mass Cranial capacity (cm³) Fossil record Discovery / publication of name
H. habilis
membership in Homo uncertain
2,100–1,500[77] East Africa 110–140 cm (4 ft 11 in) 33–55 kg (73–121 lb) 510–660 Many 1960/1964
H. rudolfensis
membership in Homo uncertain
1,900 Kenya 700 2 sites 1972/1986
H. gautengensis
also classified as H. habilis
1,900–600 South Africa 100 cm (3 ft 3 in) 3 individuals[78] 2010/2010
H. erectus 1,900–140

[79][80][81]

Africa, Eurasia 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) 60 kg (130 lb) 850 (early) – 1,100 (late) Many[82] 1891/1892
H. ergaster
African H. erectus
1,800–1,300[83] East and Southern Africa 700–850 Many 1949/1975
H. antecessor
also classified as H. heidelbergensis
1,200–800 Western Europe 175 cm (5 ft 9 in) 90 kg (200 lb) 1,000 2 sites 1994/1997
H. heidelbergensis 600–300[84] Europe, Africa 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) 90 kg (200 lb) 1,100–1,400 Many 1907/1908
H. cepranensis
a single fossil, possibly H. erectus
c. 450[85] Italy 1,000 1 skull cap 1994/2003
H. rhodesiensis
also classified as H. heidelbergensis or a subspecies of H. sapiens
c. 300 Zambia 1,300 single or very few 1921/1921
H. naledi c. 300[86] South Africa 150 cm (4 ft 11 in) 45 kg (99 lb) 450 15 individuals 2013/2015
H. sapiens
(anatomically modern humans)
300–present[87] Worldwide 150–190 cm (4 ft 7 in – 6 ft 3 in) 50–100 kg (110–220 lb) 950–1,800 (extant) —/1758
H. neanderthalensis
possibly a subspecies of H. sapiens
240–40[88] Europe, Western Asia 170 cm (5 ft 7 in) 55–70 kg (121–154 lb) (heavily built) 1,200–1,900 Many 1829/1864
H. floresiensis
classification uncertain
190–50 Indonesia 100 cm (3 ft 3 in) 25 kg (55 lb) 400 7 individuals 2003/2004
H. tsaichangensis
possibly H. erectus
c. 100[89] Taiwan 1 individual 2008(?)/2015
Denisova hominin
possible H. sapiens subspecies or hybrid
40 Siberia 2 sites 2000/2010[90]
Red Deer Cave people
possible H. sapiens subspecies or hybrid
15–12[91] Southwest China Very few
H. luzonensis
c. 67[92][93] Philippines three individuals 2007/2019

See also

References

  1. ^ Reconstruction by John Gurche (2010), Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, based on KNM ER 3733 and 992. Abigail Tucker, "A Closer Look at Evolutionary Faces", Smithsonian.com, 25 February 2010. H. erectus has the most extensive range of all species of Homo, from 1.8 to 0.14 Mya, or some 80% of the entire lifetime of the genus.
  2. ^ The conventional estimate on the age of H. habilis is at roughly 2.1 to 2.3 million years. Stringer, C.B. (1994). "Evolution of early humans". In Steve Jones; Robert Martin; David Pilbeam (eds.). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 242. Friedemann Schrenk, Ottmar Kullmer, Timothy Bromage, "The Earliest Putative Homo Fossils", chapter 9 in: Winfried Henke, Ian Tattersall (eds.), Handbook of Paleoanthropology, 2007, pp. 1611–1631, doi:10.1007/978-3-540-33761-4_52. Suggestions for pushing back the age to 2.8 Mya were made in 2015 based on the discovery of a jawbone: Spoor, Fred; Gunz, Philipp; Neubauer, Simon; Stelzer, Stefanie; Scott, Nadia; Kwekason, Amandus; Dean, M. Christopher (March 5, 2015). "Reconstructed Homo habilis type OH 7 suggests deep-rooted species diversity in early Homo". Nature. 519 (7541): 83–86. Bibcode:2015Natur.519...83S. doi:10.1038/nature14224. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 25739632..
  3. ^ Schuster, Angela M.H. (1997). "Earliest Remains of Genus Homo". Archaeology. 50 (1). Retrieved 5 March 2015. The line to the earliest members of Homo were derived from Australopithecus, a genus which had separated from the Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor by late Miocene or early Pliocene times.
  4. ^ a b c Saylor, Beverly Z.; Scott, Gary; Levin, Naomi E.; Deino, Alan; Alene, Mulugeta; Ryan, Timothy M.; Melillo, Stephanie M.; Gibert, Luis; Haile-Selassie, Yohannes (2015). "New species from Ethiopia further expands Middle Pliocene hominin diversity". Nature. 521 (7553): 483–488. Bibcode:2015Natur.521..483H. doi:10.1038/nature14448. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 26017448.
  5. ^ H. erectus in the narrow sense (the Asian species) was extinct by 140,000 years ago, Homo erectus soloensis, found in Java, is considered the latest known survival of H. erectus. Formerly dated to as late as 50,000 to 40,000 years ago, a 2011 study pushed back the date of its extinction of H. e. soloensis to 143,000 years ago at the latest, more likely before 550,000 years ago. Indriati E, Swisher CC III, Lepre C, Quinn RL, Suriyanto RA, et al. 2011 The Age of the 20 Meter Solo River Terrace, Java, Indonesia and the Survival of Homo erectus in Asia.PLoS ONE 6(6): e21562. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021562.
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  17. ^ "crooked man", from Cyphanthropus rhodesiensis (Rhodesian Man) William Plane Pycraft (1928).
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  79. ^ Haviland, William A.; Walrath, Dana; Prins, Harald E.L.; McBride, Bunny (2007). Evolution and Prehistory: The Human Challenge (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-495-38190-7.H. erectus may have appeared some 2 million years ago. Fossils dated to as much as 1.8 million years ago have been found both in Africa and in Southeast Asia, and the oldest fossils by a narrow margin (1.85 to 1.77 million years ago) were found in the Caucasus, so that it is unclear whether H. erectus emerged in Africa and migrated to Eurasia, or if, conversely, it evolved in Eurasia and migrated back to Africa.
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  81. ^ Formerly dated to as late as 50,000 to 40,000 years ago, a 2011 study pushed back the date of its extinction of H. e. soloensis to 143,000 years ago at the latest, more likely before 550,000 years ago. Indriati E, Swisher CC III, Lepre C, Quinn RL, Suriyanto RA, et al. 2011 The Age of the 20 Meter Solo River Terrace, Java, Indonesia and the Survival of Homo erectus in Asia.PLoS ONE 6(6): e21562. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021562.
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External links

Apidima Cave

The Apidima Cave (Greek: Σπήλαιο Απήδημα, Spilaio Apidima) is a complex of four small caves located on the western shore of Mani Peninsula in southern Greece. A systematic investigation of the cave has yielded Neanderthal and Homo sapiens fossils from the Palaeolithic era. The H. sapiens fossil is, as of July 2019, the earliest known example of modern humans outside Africa.

Archaic humans

A number of varieties of Homo are grouped into the broad category of archaic humans in the period contemporary to and predating the emergence of the earliest anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) over 315 ka. The term typically includes Homo neanderthalensis (430+–25 ka), Denisovans, Homo rhodesiensis (300–125 ka), Homo heidelbergensis (600–200 ka), and Homo antecessor.

There is no universal consensus on this terminology, and varieties of "archaic humans" are included under the binomial name of either Homo sapiens or Homo erectus by some authors.

Archaic humans had a brain size averaging 1,200 to 1,400 cubic centimeters, which overlaps with the range of modern humans. Archaics are distinguished from anatomically modern humans by having a thick skull, prominent supraorbital ridges (brow ridges) and the lack of a prominent chin.Anatomically modern humans appear from over 160,000 years ago in Ethiopia and after 70,000 years ago (see Toba catastrophe theory), gradually supplanting the "archaic" human varieties. Non-modern varieties of Homo are certain to have survived until after 30,000 years ago, and perhaps until as recently as 12,000 years ago. Which of these, if any, are included under the term "archaic human" is a matter of definition and varies among authors. Nonetheless, according to recent genetic studies, modern humans may have bred with "at least two groups" of ancient humans: Neanderthals and Denisovans. Other studies have cast doubt on admixture being the source of the shared genetic markers between archaic and modern humans, pointing to an ancestral origin of the traits which originated 500,000–800,000 years ago.Another group may also have been extant as recently as 11,500 years ago, the Red Deer Cave people of China. Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London has suggested that these people could be a result of mating between Denisovans and modern humans. Other scientists remain skeptical, suggesting that the unique features are within the variations expected for modern human populations.

Australopithecus

Australopithecus ( OS-trə-lo-PITH-i-kəs; from Latin australis, meaning 'southern', and Greek πίθηκος (pithekos), meaning 'ape', informal australopithecine or australopith (although the term australopithecine has a broader meaning as a member of the subtribe Australopithecina,  which includes this genus as well as the Paranthropus, Kenyanthropus, Ardipithecus, and Praeanthropus genera)  is a 'genus' of hominins. From paleontological and archaeological evidence, the genus Australopithecus apparently evolved in eastern Africa around 4 million years ago before spreading throughout the continent and eventually becoming extinct two million years ago. Australopithecus is not literally extinct (in the sense of having no living descendants) as the Kenyanthropus, Paranthropus and Homo genera probably emerged as sister of a late Australopithecus species such as A. Africanus and/or A. Sediba. During that time, a number of australopithecine species emerged, including Australopithecus afarensis, A. africanus, A. anamensis, A. bahrelghazali, A. deyiremeda (proposed), A. garhi, and A. sediba.

For some hominid species of this time – A. robustus, A. boisei and A. aethiopicus – some debate exists whether they truly constitute members of the genus Australopithecus. If so, they would be considered 'robust australopiths', while the others would be 'gracile australopiths'. However, if these more robust species do constitute their own genus, they would be under the genus name Paranthropus, a genus described by Robert Broom when the first discovery was made in 1938, which makes these species P. robustus, P. boisei and P. aethiopicus.

Australopithecus species played a significant part in human evolution, the genus Homo being derived from Australopithecus at some time after three million years ago.

In addition, they were the first hominids to possess certain genes, known as the duplicated SRGAP2, which increased the length and ability of neurons in the brain. One of the australopith species evolved into the genus Homo in Africa around two million years ago (e.g. Homo habilis), and eventually modern humans, H. sapiens sapiens.In January 2019, scientists reported that Australopithecus sediba is distinct from, but shares anatomical similarities to, both the older Australopithecus africanus, and the younger Homo habilis.

Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈkɑːɭ fɔn lɪˈneː] (listen)), was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus (after 1761 Carolus a Linné).

Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland in southern Sweden. He received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and also published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands. He then returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, while publishing several volumes. He was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death.

Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly." Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist." Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum (Prince of Botanists) and "The Pliny of the North". He is also considered as one of the founders of modern ecology.In botany and zoology, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name. In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus's remains comprise the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself.

Denisovan

The Denisovans or Denisova hominins ( di-NEE-sə-və) are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo. Pending its taxonomic status, it currently carries temporary species or subspecies names Homo denisova, Homo altaiensis, Homo sapiens denisova, or Homo sp. Altai. In 2010, scientists announced the discovery of an undated finger bone fragment of a juvenile female found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, a cave that has also been inhabited by Neanderthals and modern humans.

The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the finger bone showed it to be genetically distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans. The nuclear genome from this specimen suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans, with about three to five percent of the DNA of Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians and around six percent in Papuans deriving from Denisovans. Several additional specimens from the Denisova Cave were subsequently discovered and characterized, as was a single specimen from the Baishiya Karst Cave on the Tibetan Plateau in China.A comparison with the genome of a Neanderthal from the Denisova cave revealed local interbreeding with local Neanderthal DNA representing 17 percent of the Denisovan genome, and evidence of interbreeding with an as yet unidentified ancient human lineage, while an unexpected degree of mtDNA divergence among Denisovans was detected.The lineage that developed into Denisovans and Neanderthals is estimated to have separated from the lineage that developed into "anatomically modern" Homo sapiens approximately 600,000 to 744,000 years ago. Denisovans and Neanderthals then significantly diverged from each other genetically a mere 300 generations after that. Several types of humans, including Denisovans, Neanderthals and related hybrids, may have each dwelt in the Denisova Cave in Siberia over thousands of years, but it is unclear whether they ever cohabited in the cave. Denisovans may have interbred with modern humans in New Guinea as recently as 15,000 years ago.

Hominidae

The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids, are a taxonomic family of primates that includes eight extant species in four genera: Pongo, the Bornean, Sumatran and Tapanuli orangutan; Gorilla, the eastern and western gorilla; Pan, the common chimpanzee and the bonobo; and Homo, which includes modern humans and their extinct relatives (e.g., the Neanderthal), and ancestors, such as Homo erectus.Several revisions in classifying the great apes have caused the use of the term "hominid" to vary over time. Its original meaning referred only to humans (Homo) and their closest extinct relatives. That restrictive meaning has now been largely assumed by the term "hominin", which comprises all members of the human clade after the split from the chimpanzees (Pan). The current, 21st-century meaning of "hominid" includes all the great apes including humans. Usage still varies, however, and some scientists and laypersons still use "hominid" in the original restrictive sense; the scholarly literature generally shows the traditional usage until around the turn of the 21st century.Within the taxon Hominidae, a number of extant and known extinct, that is, fossil, genera are grouped with the humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas in the subfamily Homininae; others with orangutans in the subfamily Ponginae (see classification graphic below). The most recent common ancestor of all Hominidae lived roughly 14 million years ago, when the ancestors of the orangutans speciated from the ancestral line of the other three genera. Those ancestors of the family Hominidae had already speciated from the family Hylobatidae (the gibbons), perhaps 15 million to 20 million years ago.

Hominini

The Hominini, or hominins, form a taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae ("hominines"). Hominini includes the genus Homo (humans), but excludes the genus Gorilla (gorillas). As of 2019, there is no consensus on whether it should include the genus Pan (chimpanzees and bonobos), the question being closely tied to the complex speciation process connecting humans and chimpanzees and the development of bipedalism in proto-humans.

The tribe was originally introduced by John Edward Gray (1824), long before any details on the speciation of Pan and Homo were known. Gray's tribe Hominini by definition includes both Pan and Homo. This definition is still adhered to in the proposal by Mann and Weiss (1996), which divides Hominini into three subtribes, Panina (containing Pan), Hominina ("homininans", containing Homo "humans"), and Australopithecina (containing several extinct "australopithecine" genera).Alternatively, Hominini is taken to exclude Pan. In this case, Panini ("panins", Delson 1977) may be used to refer to the tribe containing Pan as its only genus.Minority dissenting nomenclatures include Gorilla in Hominini and Pan in Homo (Goodman et al. 1998), or both Pan and Gorilla in Homo (Watson et al. 2001).

Homo erectus

Homo erectus (meaning 'upright man') is a species of archaic humans that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch.

Its earliest fossil evidence dates to 1.8 million years ago (discovered 1991 in Dmanisi, Georgia).A debate regarding the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H. erectus, especially in relation to Homo ergaster, is ongoing, with two major positions:

1) H. erectus is the same species as H. ergaster, and thereby H. erectus is a direct ancestor of the later hominins including Homo heidelbergensis, Homo antecessor, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo denisova, and Homo sapiens; or,

2) it is in fact an Asian species or subspecies distinct from African H. ergaster.Some paleoanthropologists consider H. ergaster to be a variety, that is, the "African" variety, of H. erectus; the labels "Homo erectus sensu stricto" (strict sense) for the Asian species and "Homo erectus sensu lato" (broad sense) have been offered for the greater species comprising both Asian and African populations.H. erectus eventually became extinct throughout its range in Africa, Europe and Asia, but developed into derived species, notably Homo heidelbergensis.

As a chronospecies, the time of its disappearance is thus a matter of contention. The species name proposed in 1950

defines Java Man as the type specimen (now H. e. erectus). Since then, there has been a trend in palaeoanthropology of reducing the number of proposed species of Homo, to the point where H. erectus includes all

early (Lower Paleolithic) forms of Homo sufficiently derived from H. habilis and

distinct from early H. heidelbergensis (in Africa also known as H. rhodesiensis). In this wider sense, H. erectus had mostly been replaced by H. heidelbergensis by about 300,000 years ago, with possible late survival in Java as late as 70,000 years ago.

The discovery of the morphologically divergent Dmanisi skull 5 in 2013 has reinforced the trend of subsuming fossils formerly given separate species names under H. erectus considered as a wide-ranging, polymorphous species. Thus, H. ergaster is now well within the accepted morphological range of H. erectus, and it has been suggested that even H. rudolfensis and H. habilis (alternatively suggested as late forms of Australopithecus rather than early Homo)

should be considered early varieties of H. erectus.

Homo floresiensis

Homo floresiensis ("Flores Man"; nicknamed "hobbit") is an extinct species in the genus Homo.

The remains of an individual who would have stood about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) in height were discovered in 2004 at Liang Bua on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete skull, referred to as "LB1". These remains have been the subject of intense research to determine whether they represent a species distinct from modern humans; the dominant consensus is that these remains do represent a distinct species due to genetic and anatomical differences.This hominin had originally been considered remarkable for its survival until relatively recent times, only 12,000 years ago. However, more extensive stratigraphic and chronological work has pushed the dating of the most recent evidence of its existence back to 50,000 years ago. The Homo floresiensis skeletal material is now dated from 60,000 to 100,000 years ago; stone tools recovered alongside the skeletal remains were from archaeological horizons ranging from 50,000 to 190,000 years ago.

Homo habilis

Homo habilis is a proposed archaic species of Homo, which lived between roughly 2.1 and 1.5 million years ago, during the Gelasian and early Calabrian stages of the Pleistocene geological epoch.The type specimen is OH 7, discovered in 1960 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, associated with the Oldowan lithic industry; the fossils were identified as a separate species of Homo with the proposed binomial name of H. habilis ("handy man") in 1964. In its appearance and morphology, H. habilis is intermediate between Australopithecus and the somewhat younger Homo erectus and its classification in the genus Homo has been the subject of controversial debate since its original proposal. A main argument for its classification as the first Homo ("human") species was its use of flaked stone tools. However, evidence for earlier tool use (3.39 million years ago) by undisputed members of Australopithecus has been found in the 1990s.

Homo heidelbergensis

Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo, which radiated in the Middle Pleistocene from about 700,000 to 300,000 years ago, known from fossils found in Southern Africa, East Africa and Europe. African H. heidelbergensis has several subspecies. The subspecies are Homo heidelbergensis heidelbergensis, Homo heidelbergensis daliensis, Homo rhodesiensis, and Homo heidelbergensis steinheimensi. The derivation of Homo sapiens from Homo rhodesiensis has often been proposed, but is obscured by a fossil gap from 400–260 kya. The species was originally named Homo heidelbergensis due to the skeleton's first discovery near Heidelberg, Germany.The first discovery—a mandible—was made in 1907 by Otto Schoetensack. The skulls of this species share features with both Homo erectus and the anatomically modern Homo sapiens; its brain was nearly as large as that of Homo sapiens. The Sima de los Huesos cave at Atapuerca in northern Spain holds particularly rich layers of deposits where excavations were still in progress as of 2018.H. heidelbergensis was dispersed throughout Eastern and Southern Africa (Ethiopia, Namibia, Southern Africa) as well as Europe (England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain). Its exact relation both to the earlier Homo antecessor and Homo ergaster, and to the later lineages of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans is unclear.Homo sapiens has been proposed as derived from H. heidelbergensis via Homo rhodesiensis, present in East and North Africa from around 400,000 years ago. The correct assignment of many fossils to a particular chronospecies is difficult and often differences in opinion ensue among paleoanthropologists due to the absence of universally accepted dividing lines (autapomorphies) between Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis and Neanderthals.

It is uncertain whether H. heidelbergensis is ancestral to Homo sapiens, as a fossil gap in Africa between 400,000 and 260,000 years ago obscures the presumed derivation of H. sapiens from H. rhodesiensis. Genetic analysis of the Sima de los Huesos fossils (Meyer et al. 2016) seems to suggest that H. heidelbergensis in its entirety should be included in the Neanderthal lineage, as "pre-Neanderthal" or "archaic Neanderthal" or "early Neanderthal", while the divergence time between the Neanderthal and modern lineages has been pushed back to before the emergence of H. heidelbergensis, to about 600,000 to 800,000 years ago, the approximate time of disappearance of Homo antecessor.The delineation between early H. heidelbergensis and H. erectus is also unclear.

Homo sapiens

In taxonomy, Homo sapiens is the only extant human species. The name is Latin for "wise man" and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus (who is himself the original type specimen).

Extinct species of the genus Homo include Homo erectus, extant during roughly 1.9 to 0.4 million years ago, and a number of other species (by some authors considered subspecies of either H. sapiens or H. erectus). The age of speciation of H. sapiens out of ancestral H. erectus (or an intermediate species such as Homo antecessor) is estimated to have been roughly 350,000 years ago. Sustained archaic admixture is known to have taken place both in Africa and (following the recent Out-Of-Africa expansion) in Eurasia, between about 100,000 and 30,000 years ago.The term anatomically modern humans (AMH) is used to distinguish H. sapiens having an anatomy consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from varieties of extinct archaic humans. This is useful especially for times and regions where anatomically modern and archaic humans co-existed, for example, in Paleolithic Europe.

Human

Humans (Homo sapiens) are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. Together with chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, they are part of the family Hominidae (the great apes, or hominids). A terrestrial animal, humans are characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; larger, more complex brains than other animals; and highly advanced and organized societies.Early hominins—particularly the australopithecines, whose brains and anatomy are in many ways more similar to ancestral non-human apes—are less often referred to as "human" than hominins of the genus Homo. Several of these hominins used fire, occupied much of Eurasia, and gave rise to anatomically modern Homo sapiens in Africa about 315,000 years ago. Humans began to exhibit evidence of behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago, and in several waves of migration, they ventured out of Africa and populated most of the world.The spread of the large and increasing population of humans has profoundly affected much of the biosphere and millions of species worldwide. Advantages that explain this evolutionary success include a larger brain with a well-developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, which enable advanced abstract reasoning, language, problem solving, sociality, and culture through social learning. Humans use tools more frequently and effectively than any other animal; and are the only extant species to build fires, cook food, clothe themselves, and create and use numerous other technologies and arts.

Humans uniquely use such systems of symbolic communication as language and art to express themselves and exchange ideas, and also organize themselves into purposeful groups. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which together undergird human society. Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena (or events) have motivated humanity's development of science, philosophy, mythology, religion, anthropology, and numerous other fields of knowledge.

Though most of human existence has been sustained by hunting and gathering in band societies, increasingly many human societies transitioned to sedentary agriculture approximately some 10,000 years ago, domesticating plants and animals, thus enabling the growth of civilization. These human societies subsequently expanded, establishing various forms of government, religion, and culture around the world, and unifying people within regions to form states and empires. The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries permitted the development of fuel-driven technologies and increased lifespans, causing the human population to rise exponentially. The global human population was estimated to be near 7.7 billion in 2019.

Human evolution

Human evolution is the evolutionary process that led to the emergence of anatomically modern humans, beginning with the evolutionary history of primates—in particular genus Homo—and leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominid family, the great apes. This process involved the gradual development of traits such as human bipedalism and language, as well as interbreeding with other hominins, which indicate that human evolution was not linear but a web.The study of human evolution involves several scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology, paleontology, neurobiology, ethology, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, embryology and genetics. Genetic studies show that primates diverged from other mammals about 85 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period, and the earliest fossils appear in the Paleocene, around 55 million years ago.Within the Hominoidea (apes) superfamily, the Hominidae family diverged from the Hylobatidae (gibbon) family some 15–20 million years ago; African great apes (subfamily Homininae) diverged from orangutans (Ponginae) about 14 million years ago; the Hominini tribe (humans, Australopithecines and other extinct biped genera, and chimpanzee) parted from the Gorillini tribe (gorillas) between 8–9 million years ago; and, in turn, the subtribes Hominina (humans and biped ancestors) and Panina (chimps) separated 4–7 million years ago.

Human taxonomy

Human taxonomy is the classification of the human species (systematic name Homo sapiens, Latin: "knowing man") within zoological taxonomy. The systematic genus, Homo, is designed to include both anatomically modern humans and extinct varieties of archaic humans. Current humans have been designated as subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, differentiated from the direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu.

Since the introduction of systematic names in the 18th century, knowledge of human evolution has increased drastically, and a number of intermediate taxa have been proposed in the 20th to early 21st century. The most widely accepted taxonomy groups takes the genus Homo as originating between two and three million years ago, divided into at least two species, archaic Homo erectus and modern Homo sapiens, with about a dozen further suggestions for species without universal recognition.

The genus Homo is placed in the tribe Hominini alongside Pan (chimpanzees). The two genera are estimated to have diverged over an extended time of hybridization spanning roughly 10 to 6 million years ago, with possible admixture as late as 4 million years ago. A subtribe of uncertain validity, grouping archaic "pre-human" or "para-human" species younger than the Homo-Pan split is Australopithecina (proposed in 1939).

A proposal by Wood and Richmond (2000) would introduce Hominina as a subtribe alongside Australopithecina, with Homo the only known genus within Hominina. Alternatively, following Cela-Conde and Ayala (2003), the "pre-human" or "proto-human" genera of Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Praeanthropus, and possibly Sahelanthropus may be placed on equal footing alongside the genus Homo. An even more radical view rejects the division of Pan and Homo as separate genera, which based on the Principle of Priority would imply the re-classification of chimpanzees as Homo paniscus (or similar).Prior to the current scientific classification of humans, philosophers and scientists have made various attempts to classify humans. They offered definitions of the human being and schemes for classifying types of humans. Biologists once classified races as subspecies, but today anthropologists reject the concept of race and view humanity as an interrelated genetic continuum. Taxonomy of the hominins continues to evolve.

List of human evolution fossils

The following tables give an overview of notable finds of hominin fossils and remains relating to human evolution, beginning with the formation of the tribe Hominini (the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages) in the late Miocene, roughly 7 to 8 million years ago.

As there are thousands of fossils, mostly fragmentary, often consisting of single bones or isolated teeth with complete skulls and skeletons rare, this overview is not complete, but does show some of the most important finds. The fossils are arranged by approximate age as determined by radiometric dating and/or incremental dating and the species name represents current consensus; if there is no clear scientific consensus the other possible classifications are indicated.

Most of the early fossils shown are not considered direct ancestors to Homo sapiens but are closely related to direct ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the lineage. After 1.5 million years ago (extinction of Paranthropus), all fossils shown are human (genus Homo). After 11,500 years ago (11.5 ka, beginning of the Holocene), all fossils shown are Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans), illustrating recent divergence in the formation of modern human sub-populations.

Mutant (Marvel Comics)

In American comic books published by Marvel Comics, a mutant is a human being that possesses a genetic trait called the X-gene. It causes the mutant to develop superhuman powers that manifest at puberty. Human mutants are sometimes referred to as a human subspecies Homo sapiens superior, or simply Homo superior. Mutants are the evolutionary progeny of Homo sapiens, and are generally assumed to be the next stage in human evolution. The accuracy of this is the subject of much debate in the Marvel Universe.

Unlike Marvel's mutates, which are characters who develop their powers only after exposure to outside stimuli or energies (such as the Hulk, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and Absorbing Man), mutants have actual genetic mutations.

Neanderthal

Neanderthals (UK: ; US: ; German pronunciation: [neˈan.dɐ.taːl]; Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo, who lived within Eurasia from circa 400,000 until 40,000 years ago.Currently the earliest fossils of Neanderthals in Europe are dated between 450,000 and 430,000 years ago, and thereafter Neanderthals expanded into Southwest and Central Asia. They are known from numerous fossils, as well as stone tool assemblages. Almost all assemblages younger than 160,000 years are of the so-called Mousterian techno-complex, which is characterised by tools made out of stone flakes.

The type specimen is Neanderthal 1, found in Neander Valley in the German Rhineland, in 1856.

Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals were stockier, with shorter legs and bigger bodies. In conformance with Bergmann's rule, as well as Allen's rule, this was likely an adaptation to preserve heat in cold climates. Male and female Neanderthals had cranial capacities averaging 1,600 cm3 (98 cu in) and 1,300 cm3 (79 cu in), respectively,

within the range of the values for anatomically modern humans.

Average males stood around 164 to 168 cm (65 to 66 in) and females 152 to 156 cm (60 to 61 in) tall.There has been growing evidence for admixture between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, reflected in the genomes of all modern non-African populations but not in the genomes of most sub-Saharan Africans. The proportion of Neanderthal-derived ancestry is estimated to be around 1–4% of the modern Eurasian genome. This suggests that some interbreeding between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans took place after the recent "out of Africa" migration, around 70,000 years ago. Recent admixture analyses have added to the complexity, finding that Eastern Neanderthals derived up to 2% of their ancestry from an earlier wave of anatomically modern humans who left Africa some 100,000 years ago.

Polymath

A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, "having learned much"; Latin: homo universalis, "universal man") is an individual whose knowledge spans a significant number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. The term entered the lexicon in the 20th century and has now been applied to great thinkers living before and after the Renaissance.

In Western Europe, the first work to use polymathy in its title (De Polymathia tractatio: integri operis de studiis veterum) was published in 1603 by Johann von Wowern (de), a Hamburg philosopher. Von Wowern defined polymathy as "knowledge of various matters, drawn from all kinds of studies [...] ranging freely through all the fields of the disciplines, as far as the human mind, with unwearied industry, is able to pursue them". Von Wowern lists erudition, literature, philology, philomathy and polyhistory as synonyms. The related term polyhistor is an ancient term with similar meaning.Polymaths include the great thinkers of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment who excelled at several fields in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts. In the Italian Renaissance, the idea of the polymath was expressed by Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) in the statement that "a man can do all things if he will".Embodying a basic tenet of Renaissance humanism that humans are limitless in their capacity for development, the concept led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. This is expressed in the term Renaissance man, often applied to the gifted people of that age who sought to develop their abilities in all areas of accomplishment: intellectual, artistic, social and physical.

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