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(WA-LC) Well, if there are no more questions I would like to continue our discussion of human evolution by looking at Homo erectus, the earliest of our ancestors who stood upright. Homo erectus lived about one and a half million years ago and was given that name because, at the time the first fossil was discovered, it represented the first primate to stand upright.

There is evidence now that Homo erectus had sharper mental skills than their predecessors. They constructed the first standardized tool for hunting and butchering. They created an extraordinary stone implement, a large teardrop-shaped hand ax whose design and symmetry reveal a keen sense of aesthetics. This detailing, along with the ax's utilitarian value, strongly suggest that Homo erectus had the ability to conceive of and execute a design to specification.

In addition, Homo erectus was the first hominid [HAH muh nid] to use fire. This discovery enticed them to cook meat, which they could flavor and keep from spilling by flame, and which paleontologists now believe may have given them a new disease. Some fossil bones of Homo erectus are grossly deformed, and paleontologists have noted that this condition is similar to that found in people today who have been exposed to chronic overdoses of vitamin A. Apparently Homo erectus first got this disease by eating large amounts of animal liver.

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