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Homo habilis is a species of the tribe Hominini, during the Gelasian and early Calabrian stages of the Pleistocene period, between roughly 2.8 and 1.5 million years ago.<ref> Friedemann Schrenk, Ottmar Kullmer, Timothy Bromage, "The Earliest Putative Homo Fossils", chapter 9 in: Winfried Henke, Ian Tattersall (eds.), Handbook of Paleoanthropology, 2007, pp 1611–1631, doi:10.1007/978-3-540-33761-4_52 Villmoare B, Kimbel H, Seyoum C, Campisano C, DiMaggio E, Rowan J, Braun D, Arrowsmith J, Reed K. (2015). Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia. Science. DOI:10.1126/science.aaa1343 This date range overlaps with the emergence of Homo erectus. New York Times article Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution published August 9, 2007.</ref>

A team led by scientists Louis and Mary Leakey uncovered the fossilized remains of a unique early human between 1960 and 1963 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania; these fossils was speculated to be a new species, and called them Homo habilis (meaning 'handy man'), because they suspected that it was this slightly larger-brained early human that made the thousands of stone tools also found at Olduvai Gorge.<ref name="Wood 2014. pp 31-33">Wood, Bernard "Fifty Years After Homo habilis", Nature. 3 April 2014. pp 31-33</ref><ref>Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-habilis</ref>

A fossil found by Leakey was nicknamed "Handy Man" because this species was thought to represent the first maker of stone tools.

In its appearance and morphology, H. habilis is the least similar to modern humans of all species in the genus Homo (except the equally controversial H. rudolfensis), and its classification as Homo has been the subject of controversial debate since its first proposal in the 1960s.


Homo habilis sections
Intro  Classification as Homo  Fossils  Interpretations  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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