(taxonomy) An extinct hominid believed to have originated from Africa then spread to China and Java during the latter period of the Pliocene epoch to Pleistocene (i.e. about 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago). The cranial capacity is about 850 cm3 in average. The facial features include a less sloped frontal bone and less protrusive face compared to that of the australopithecine and Homo habilis, large brow-ridges, and less prominent cheekbones.
Two hypotheses emerged: (1) Homo erectus may be the same human species Homo ergaster and (2) Homo erectus may be an Asian species different from Homo ergaster.
Homo erectus may be the first hominid to have hunted in small groups, utilized slightly complex tools, and looked after their frail or sick companions.