Handy man

First hominid to unleash the power of tools! Extinct 1.5 million years ago

The original “handy man,” who lived around 2.8 to 1.5 million years ago, was the first human ancestor to use stone tools. This was a groundbreaking discovery that shattered the belief that only modern humans could use tools.

Homo habilis had a slightly larger brain compared to its australopithecine ancestors, with a brain volume ranging from 500 to 800 cubic centimeters. Its less protruding face and smaller teeth suggested a shift towards a more varied diet, including plants and meat.

However, the classification of Homo habilis as a separate species or a variant of Australopithecus is still a topic of debate among scientists.

To avoid confusion: this is the only species on the website whose extinction isn’t assumed by human activities and is brought here for educational purposes.


Population est.
Official estimate

Did you know?

  • Homo habilis is one of the earliest known species in the Homo genus, dating back approximately 2.8 million years ago.
  • Homo habilis is considered the first species to use stone tools, which were used for cutting, scraping, and chopping.
  • Homo habilis had a brain size of about 600-700 cubic centimeters, significantly larger than its Australopithecus ancestors’ brains.
  • Homo habilis fossils have been found in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
  • They are believed to have been bipedal, walking on two legs, and could likely climb trees as well.
  • Some evidence suggests that Homo habilis may have been capable of making simple shelters and using fire, but this is still a topic of research and debate.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Polygamous / Monogamous

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Group

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No