Homo Erectus vs. Homo Sapien: What’s The Difference Between Homo Erectus And Homo Sapien?

What are the differences between Homo Erectus and Homo Sapien? Both species are different in terms of their anatomy, physiology and behavior. Read on to find out more about their differences.
Homo Erectus vs. Homo Sapien: 14 Key Differences, Description, Similarities

Homo Erectus vs. Homo Sapien: Under the archaic human group that originated some 500,000 years ago from now, the different Homo types are broadly categorized.

This group typically contains

Homo Rhodesiensis300,000 years ago
Homo Neanderthalensis250,000 years ago
Homo Antecessor1200,000 years ago
Homo Heidelbergensis600,000 years ago

The archaic human group completely contrasts with the modern humans based on their anatomic traits. 

The Homo Sapiens idaltu and the Homo Sapiens sapiens have been categorized under modern humans. According to the “Toba catastrophe theory” only 70 000 years ago, modern humans evolved. 

A recent study on genetics has suggested that the evolution of modern humans happened with at least two ancient human varieties, the Denisovans and the Neanderthals. In theory, modern humans seem to be evolving from the archaic humans who earlier evolved from the Homo Erectus.

The main difference between Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus is that Homo Erectus was less intelligent with a smaller brain, whereas the Homo Sapiens were more intelligent with a larger brain.

Homo Sapiens vs. Homo Erectus Differences (Quick Overview)

DefinitionHomo Erectus is an extinct species of archaic humans, whereas Homo Sapiens are those species to which modern humans belong.
NamesThe meaning of Homo Erectus is ‘upright man’, whereas the meaning of Homo Sapiens is ‘man who thinks.
Thriving or ExtinctHomo Erectus species is extinct, but the Homo Sapiens species is thriving as of now.
EvolutionThe evolution of Homo Erectus happened from the Australopithecus somewhere close to 2 Mya, while the evolution of Homo Sapiens occurred about 300,000 years ago from the early modern humans.

Who is Homo Erectus?

Who is Homo Erectus? The Homo Erectus is often denoted as an “upright man”. The Homo Erectus are believed to have their evolution inside Africa some 1.8 million years ago. They later on migrated to Europe from Asia.  It is believed that this species came to extinction some 0.5 million years ago. With these time data, we can place Homo Erectus between Homo Sapiens’s modern appearance and Homo habilis. The size of their brain was between 850-1100 cc. The females had a body size of 1.55 meters, and the males had a body size of 1.8 meters.

The Homo Erectus is often denoted as an “upright man”. They are different from the archaic human groups and modern humans. It was majorly believed that the population which was similar to the Homo Erectus were the ancestors of modern living human beings called “Homo Sapiens”. The Homo Erectus are believed to have their evolution inside Africa some 1.8 million years ago. They later on migrated to Europe from Asia.  It is believed that this species came to extinction some 0.5 million years ago. With these time data, we can place Homo Erectus between Homo Sapiens’s modern appearance and Homo habilis. The migration of Homo Erectus to Europe, followed by Asia, seems to be appearing some one million years ago from now.

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Recently in Georgia, the lower jaw of a Homo Erectus individual was found, which dates back to some 1.6 million years ago. Outside Africa, these were the appearance of the first hominids. Also, the incorporation of systematic hunting into their lifestyle was first done by the Homo Erectus. Those were the first ones to have an extended childhood. Homo Erectus had the capability of using fire and making tools. They were capable of leading a more complex lifestyle also. In comparison to Homo habilis, their body size and brain size were bigger in size. The size of their brain was between 850-1100 cc. The females had a body size of 1.55 meters, and the males had a body size of 1.8 meters.

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The use of stone tools like hand axe was done by the Homo Erectus. They had low and long craniums. Homo Erectus also had a wide and short face with a nasal aperture that was projected forward. In this group, the pronounced brow ridges were also prominent. The most striking feature in the behavior of this group was the ability to reduce the body size dimorphism between the sexes.

Who is Homo Sapien?

Who is Homo Sapien? Homo Sapiens are believed to be evolved in Africa some 200,000 years ago due to a dramatic climate change. Their behaviors had some evolution over the years and made them face the challenges successfully in an unstable environment. In comparison to the early humans, these modern humans had the possession of a skeleton that was lighter in build. These modern humans were also having larger heads with short femoral necks attached to them. Their brain size was around 1200 cc which was much larger in size.

Homo Sapiens are believed to be evolved in Africa some 200,000 years ago due to a dramatic climate change. Their behaviors had some evolution over the years and made them face the challenges successfully in an unstable environment. In comparison to the early humans, these modern humans had the possession of a skeleton that was lighter in build. These modern humans were also having larger heads with short femoral necks attached to them. Their brain size was around 1200 cc which was much larger in size. The subspecies Homo Sapiens idaltu and Homo Sapiens sapiens are also included in this group. In 1997, the Homo Sapiens idaltu were found in Herto Bouri in Ethiopia and was believed to be a subspecies of Homo Sapiens.

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Homo Sapiens is the first to depict modern speech. A high vaulted thin-walled skull with a near and flat vertical forehead was the striking feature of these modern humans. And these modern human faces were also showing prognathism and less heavy brow ridges. Their jaws were less developed, too heavily, with smaller teeth as well. As per the relationship of evolution, the direct ancestor of Homo Sapiens still lies unknown. Many paleoanthropologists believe that their ancestors can be either Homo heidelbergensis or some other.

Homo Erectus and Homo Sapien Similarities

  • Both their ancestors are related.
  • The origin of both is from the African continent.
  • Both are capable of leading a more complex lifestyle.
  • Both have been known to hunt, and both have extended childhood also.
  • Both had the capability to use fire and make tools.

14 Key Differences Between Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus

BasisHomo SapiensHomo Erectus
DispersalHomo Sapiens were widely distributed.Homo Erectus lived in Asia, Europe, and Africa by 1.8 Mya, throughout the world
SubspeciesHomo Sapiens idaltu (extinct) and Homo Sapiens sapiens are the two subspecies of Homo SapiensNanjing Man, Lantian Man, Meganthropus, Peking Man, travel Man, and Solo Man are some subspecies of Homo Erectus
Brain SizeThe size of the brain of Homo Sapiens was around 1300 ccThe size of Homo Erectus’s brain was 850 cc to 1100 cc
IntelligenceHomo Sapiens were more intelligentHomo Erectus were less intelligent
TeethHomo Sapiens had smaller teethHomo Erectus had larger teeth
JawsHomo Sapiens had weaker jawsThe jaws of Homo Erectus were heavily built
Brow Ridges and PrognathismHomo Sapiens had quite lite eye ridges and less prognathismThe eye ridges of Homo Erectus are very heavy and have more prognathism
ChinHomo Sapiens had a more prominent chinHomo Erectus had a less prominent chin
Facial FeaturesHomo Sapiens had faced similar to modern manHomo Erectus had faced similar to apes
SkeletonHomo Sapiens had weaker and thiner bonesHomo Erectus had stronger and thicker bones
Legs and ArmsThe legs and arms of Homo Sapiens were shorter legs and less slender armsThe legs and arms of Homo Erectus were longer legs and more slender arms
HeightThe height of Homo Sapiens was moreThe height of Homo Erectus was less
SpeechThe Homo Sapiens used modern speechThe Homo Erectus used primitive speech
Sexual DimorphismSexual dimorphism is more pronounced in Homo SapiensSexual dimorphism is less pronounced in Homo Erectus

Comparison Chart

What are the differences between Homo Erectus and Homo Sapien? Both species are different in terms of their anatomy, physiology and behavior. Read on to find out more about their differences.

Comparison Video

14 Different Types of Human Species | Explained

Conclusion

The Homo Sapiens sapiens and Homo Sapiens idaltu are said to be modern humans. The discovery of Homo Sapiens idaltu occurred in Herto Bouri, Ethiopia. As per the “Toba catastrophe theory”, only before 70000 years ago, the process of evolution of modern humans happened. Most probably, the evolution of modern humans started some 200,000 years ago. Recent genetic studies have suggested that modern humans evolved from at least two ancient human species, like Denisovans and Neanderthals. On Theory, the evolution of modern humans occurred from archaic humans who have earlier evolved from Homo Erectus.

Alex Stantor

Author & Researcher @ Difference 101 Master in Philosophy & Data Analysis, Sorbonne Université (Graduated 2011) Lived in New York City

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