Blackwell Publishing
Precambrian Paleozoic Mesozoic Cainozoic
Tertiary 65 MYRBP Quaternary 1.8 MYRBP

The remains of the oldest member of our own genus Homo are dated between 2.5 and 1.5 mya. They have human-like hands and are found in rocks in East Africa which also contain simple stone tools: the creature was named Homo habilis , meaning the 'handy man.'

Homo erectus appeared about 1.8 mya, and evidence suggests the use of permanent dwelling places, some elements of tribal life, and the use of fire. These developments were made possible by increasing intelligence: brain capacity increases continuously until the emergence of Homo sapiens, perhaps only 150,000 years ago.

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