Q:

What was the habitat of Homo habilis?

A:

Quick Answer

All fossil remains of Homo habilis originate from Kenya or Tanzania in northeastern Africa. At the time, these areas consisted of semi-arid grass plains interspersed with small woodlands. Archaelogyinfo.com notes that there is paleoecological evidence that many early hominids lived in marginal woodlands, and this is reflected in the remains of Homo habilis.

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Full Answer

The foot bones are adapted for walking upright, but the legs show evidence of muscle attachments that would have allowed Homo habilis to invert its feet in a way that is good for establishing a strong grip with all limbs while climbing. Walking upright was useful for wandering tall grass plains, and the ability to climb would have been useful for times when the species was traveling through the woods. The fact that the species could climb does not imply that they were primarily arboreal. Some apes, even today, nest in trees at night, although they are primarily earth-bound in habit otherwise. For example, gorillas are generally terrestrial, but females and juveniles nest in trees at night. This gives them protection from predators while they sleep. Although there is some debate about the features of and even the validity of the species, fossils attributed to Homo habilis do not differ markedly in habitat.

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