Laziness helped lead the extinction of Homo erectus


Laziness helped lead the extinction of Homo erectus

Why Homo sapiens was the only human species that survived to this day is still a subject of study for anthropology. In addition to our ability to adapt, care policy and brains of capacities still unknown, one of the qualities of our species is that in the struggle for survival, laziness did not overcome us, as it seems that it did with Homo erectus, according to a new archaeological investigation of the National University of Australia (ANU).

An archaeological excavation of ancient human populations in the Arabian Peninsula during the Early Stone Age discovered that Homo erectus used fewer effort strategies for the manufacture of tools and the collection of resources. The findings are published in PLoS One.

This laziness coupled with an inability to adapt to a changing climate probably played a role in the extinction of the species, as  pointed out by the principal investigator, Ceri Shipton, of the School of Culture, History and Language of the ANU: “I do not have the sensation that they were explorers looking towards the horizon, they did not have the same capacity to marvel at us. “

Laziness helped lead the extinction of Homo erectus

For Shipton, this was evident in the way the species made its stone tools and the resources collected. “In the making of tools, they would use any stone they could find lying around their camp, which was mostly of low quality,” he said, in contrast to the stone tool makers of later periods, including the first Homo. Sapiens and Neanderthals, who climbed mountains to find the good quality stone and transport it over long distances.

Its habitat, moreover, became a desert, which contributed to the disappearance of the population. “Not only were they lazy, but they were also very conservative.” Sediment samples showed that the environment around them was changing, but they were doing exactly the same with their tools, there was no progression at all, and their tools are never very away from these now dry riverbeds, I think in the end the environment became too dry for them, “says Shipton.