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Homo Sapiens

In taxonomy, Homo Sapiens is the only extant human species. The name is Latin for "wise man" and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus (who is himself also the type specimen).

Extinct species of the genus Homo include Homo Erectus, extant during roughly 1.9 to 0.4 million years ago, and a number of other species (by some authors considered subspecies of either Homo Sapiens or Homo Erectus).

Homo Sapiens Idaltu (2003) is a proposed extinct subspecies of Homo Sapiens.


The age of speciation of Homo Sapiens out of ancestral Homo Erectus (or an intermediate species such as Homo Antecessor) is estimated to have taken place at roughly 315,000 years ago. Sustained archaic admixture is known to have taken place both in Africa and (following the recent Out-Of-Africa expansion) in Eurasia, between about 100,000 to 30,000 years ago.


The term anatomically modern humans (AMH) is used to distinguish Homo Sapiens as having an anatomy consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from varieties of extinct archaic humans. This is useful especially for times and regions where anatomically modern and archaic humans co-existed, e.g. in Paleolithic Europe.


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