Natural Histories

photograph of a Sunda Pangolin


Homo sapiens


Humans are a diverse species morphologically. Size may vary with environmental factors such as nutrition. Human physical variety can be organized into “races” but there is no diversion from the species within each race. Human variation is a representation of gene flow among populations. Humans are characterized by their bipedalism (ability to walk upright on two limbs) and lack of significant body hair.


This species is currently found in permanent settlements on all continents except Antarctica and most habitable islands in all of the oceans. Modern homo sapiens populations are known from the Middle East as long as 100,000 years ago, east Asia as long as 67,000 years ago and southern Australia as long as 60,000 years ago. European human fossils date back to 35,000 years ago. Humans are found in all terrestrial habitats of the world and are capable of extensively modifying habitats to create more habitable areas. With the aid of technologies such as boats, humans have also ventured out into many aquatic habitats.

Feeding Behavior and Diet

Humans are omnivorous, consuming both plant and animal matter. The diet of a human is highly variable and varies with regional availability of foods. Some human cultures restrict diets to vegetarian or herbivorous, consuming only plant matter.


Humans are capable of breeding throughout the year with a wide range of courting tactics to mating. In comparison to other primates, humans have a long gestation period of 40 weeks for producing altricial young (unable to walk). A single young is produced by the female (occasionally twins and rarely multiple births). There is a large variety in time weaning, independence, and sexual maturity for human young and these may be influenced by nutritional status and cultural practices. Young are reared in most cultures with some help and cooperation from other group members, including related and unrelated members.

Months and Times of Activity

Humans are active all year round. They are also capable of being active diurnally and nocturnally. Humans are one of the most behaviorally, socially and culturally complex animal species. Some human populations remain nomadic or migratory while others remain in one general area.

Special Features, Stories, Relationships

•    Humans are most notable for their extensive use of tools. A great evolution of tools used over time has created human technological innovation as a characteristic of the species.

•    This species has very complex developments in human art, symbolism and written languages.

•    To read legends featuring this animal go to;

•    Children’s book featuring this animal: My First HUMAN BODY BOOK by Donald M. Silver & Patricia J. Wynne 


Dewey, T. 2008. "Homo sapiens" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 04, 2014 at