added by archaeologs Handy man, the oldest species of the genus Homo. It was small-built but had a larger brain than the Australopithecines and was a toolmaker. Its fossils have been found in East and South African dating to 2.2-1.6 million years ago at the famous sites of Koobi Fora and Olduvai Gorge. Dr. Louis Leakey, who found fossils at Olduvai Gorge, said that the habilis skeletons showed certain features (e.g. greater brain size, opposable thumb, shape of skull) which distinguished them from those of other Australopithecus forms, and which placed them closer to the line of descent leading to Homo erectus and the advanced forms of man. Homo habilis is regarded as a possible ancestor of Homo erectus or Homo sapiens; others believe it should be included in the species Australopithecus africanus or Homo erectus, or be regarded as transitional from one to the other.
added by archaeologs Early hominid form of the period 2 to 1.5 million years ago, found mainly in East Africa. Some authorities believe Homo habilis to be closely related to the Australo-pithecines, while others believe it to be different from the Australopithecines and directly ancestral to man. See also Australopithecus,
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983