Homo Erectus and the Colonization of Asia

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In the study of human evolution the importance of understanding the paleoanthropological evidence from Asia cannot be overemphasized. This is true not only because a substantial part of the total evidence derives from Asia, but also because the Asian evidence has figured prominently in previous and current arguments about the nature of organic evolution in general and hominid evolution specifically.


These early hominids experienced the interpreted environmental changes. These changes, however, probably had little negative affect on this hominid. In fact, the adaptations that permitted Homo erectus to leave Africa were most likely well suited to the open woodland environments subsequently encountered. These adaptations include larger body size compared to earlier hominids, bipedality, linear body proportions, and a more sophisticated tool kit (Spencer, 1997).
Specifically, bipedality would have permitted foraging in open environments (Rodman and McHenry, 1980), whereas large body size would have been useful for surviving interactions with large predators also found in these habitats (Walker, 1993). Others (Anton et al., 2002) have suggested that the maintenance of this large body size, as well as increased brain size, may have resulted from greater nutritional dependence on animal fat and protein. This may have necessitated the increase in tool sophistication for acquiring this additional component of the diet. ...
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