26. Homo Erectus and Related Taxa

  1. David R. Begun
  1. Susan C. Antón

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch26

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

How to Cite

Antón, S. C. (2013) Homo Erectus and Related Taxa, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch26

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444331165

Online ISBN: 9781118332344



  • Homo erectus;
  • human evolution;
  • modern humans;
  • sexual dimorphism;
  • taxa


Homo erectus has one of the longer histories within paleoanthropology. It is now considered the hominin that was the first to take major anatomical and behavioral steps in the direction of a “modern human” body plan. H. erectus sensu lato is an umbrella taxon that includes both African and Asian fossils and that encompasses nested sets of multiple, subsequently named, taxa. H. erectus appears to have had larger average body and brain sizes than did H. habilis but a great deal of regional variation in size. Estimates of sexual dimorphism in H. erectus suggested that H. erectus females had increased more in size relative to Australopithecus females than had H. erectus males. Recent discoveries and reevaluations produce a picture of H. erectus as a species that is neither fully modern nor fully primitive in its body plan and behavior.