Did laziness drive early human relative, Homo erectus, to extinction?

homo erectus e
Homo erectus. Image credit: Science Photo Library

Homo erectus may have gone extinct because they were lazy, according to research from the Australian National University.

Scientists claim the ‘least-effort strategies’ for tool making and collecting resources led to the downfall of the primitive human species.

This ‘laziness’ paired with an inability to adapt to a changing climate likely led to the species going extinct, their paper suggests.

To make their stone tools they would use whatever rocks they could find lying around their camp, which were mostly of comparatively low quality to what later stone tool makers used, according to researchers who looked at ancient populations in the Arabian Peninsula.


At the site researchers looked at there was a big rocky outcrop of quality stone just a short distance away up a small hill.

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But rather than walk up the hill they would just use whatever bits had rolled down and were lying at the bottom.

When researchers looked at the rocky outcrop they found there were no signs of any activity, no artefacts and no quarrying of the stone.

This is in contrast to the stone tool makers of later periods, including early Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, who were climbing mountains to find good quality stone and transporting it over long distances.


Read full, original post: Homo erectus went extinct because they were lazy! Scientists claim ‘least-effort strategies’ for tool making and collecting resources contributed to the downfall of the primitive species

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