Modern humans are Homo sapiens, whereas Homo habilis was a species that lived between 2.2 and 1.6 million years ago.

Comparison chart

Homo Habilis versus Homo Sapiens comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartHomo HabilisHomo Sapiens
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Phylum Chordata Chordata
Class Mammalia Mammalia
Order Primates Primates
Family Hominidae Hominidae
Genus Homo Homo
Timespan 2.3-1.4m years ago ~0.5m years ago-present
Extinct Yes No
Area Africa Worldwide
Also referred to as - Modern humans or cro magnon
Brain Size one third the size of ours about as big as your two fists together

About Homo habilis and Homo sapiens

About Homo habilis

Homo habilis, Sterkfontein Caves exhibition
Homo habilis, Sterkfontein Caves exhibition

Homo habilis (pronounced /ˈhoʊmoʊ ˈhæbəlɪs/) ("handy man", "skillful person") is a species of the genus Homo, which lived from approximately 2.2 million to at least 1.6 million years ago at the beginning of the Pleistocene. The definition of this species is credited to both Mary and Louis Leakey, who found fossils in Tanzania, East Africa, between 1962 and 1964. Homo habilis is arguably the first species of the Homo genus to appear. In its appearance and morphology, H. habilis was the least similar to modern humans of all species to be placed in the genus Homo (except possibly Homo rudolfensis). Homo habilis was short and had disproportionately long arms compared to modern humans; however, it had a reduction in the protrusion in the face. It is thought to have descended from a species of australopithecine hominid. Its immediate ancestor may have been the more massive and ape-like Homo rudolfensis. Homo habilis had a cranial capacity slightly less than half of the size of modern humans. Despite the ape-like morphology of the bodies, H. habilis remains are often accompanied by primitive stone tools (e.g. Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and Lake Turkana, Kenya).

Homo habilis has often been thought to be the ancestor of the lankier and more sophisticated Homo ergaster, which in turn gave rise to the more human-appearing species, Homo erectus. Debates continue over whether H. habilis is a direct human ancestor, and whether all of the known fossils are properly attributed to the species. However, in 2007, new findings suggest that the two species coexisted and may be separate lineages from a common ancestor instead of H. erectus being descended from H. habilis.

About Homo sapiens

Human beings, or humans (Homo sapiens — Latin: "wise human" or "knowing human"), are bipedal primates in the family Hominidae. mtDNA evidence indicates that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, problem solving and emotion. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the forelimbs (arms) for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species. Humans currently inhabit every continent on Earth, except Antarctica (although several governments maintain seasonally-staffed research stations there). Humans also now have a continuous presence in low Earth orbit, occupying the International Space Station. The human population on Earth is greater than 6.7 billion.


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"Homo Habilis vs Homo Sapiens." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 15 Jan 2019. < >