TLDR: Humans are a species of primates known for their hairlessness, ability to walk on two legs, and high intelligence. They have large brains and complex societies, and they are highly social creatures. Humans have developed various languages, cultures, and technologies throughout history.
Humans, or modern humans, are the most common and widespread species of primates. They are characterized by their hairlessness, bipedalism (ability to walk on two legs), and high intelligence. Humans have a large brain and cognitive skills that allow them to thrive in different environments and develop complex societies and civilizations. They are highly social and live in complex social structures, from families to political states. Humans have established a wide variety of values, social norms, languages, and rituals that shape their societies. They have also developed science, technology, philosophy, mythology, religion, and other conceptual frameworks to understand and influence the world around them.
The term "humans" generally refers to Homo sapiens, the only extant member of the genus Homo. Other members of the genus Homo, known as archaic humans, are now extinct. Anatomically modern humans emerged around 300,000 years ago in Africa, evolving from Homo heidelbergensis or a similar species. They gradually migrated out of Africa, replacing or interbreeding with local populations of archaic humans. For most of their history, humans were nomadic hunter-gatherers. It was around 160,000-60,000 years ago that humans began exhibiting behavioral modernity. The Neolithic Revolution, which began around 13,000 years ago, saw the emergence of agriculture and permanent human settlement. Humans have continued to expand and now have a global population of over 8 billion.
Humans exhibit biological variation in visible characteristics, physiology, disease susceptibility, mental abilities, body size, and lifespan. However, any two humans are at least 99% genetically similar. Humans are sexually dimorphic, with males generally having greater body strength and females having a higher body fat percentage. Humans are omnivorous and can consume a wide variety of plant and animal material. They have used fire and other forms of heat to prepare and cook food since the time of Homo erectus. Humans are diurnal, sleeping an average of seven to nine hours per day. Childbirth is a dangerous process, and both parents usually provide care for their children.
Humans have a large, highly developed, and complex prefrontal cortex, which is associated with higher cognition. They are highly intelligent and capable of episodic memory, flexible facial expressions, self-awareness, and a theory of mind. Humans are capable of introspection, private thought, imagination, volition, and forming views on existence. This has allowed for great technological advancements and complex tool development through complex reasoning and the transmission of knowledge to subsequent generations. Language, art, and trade are defining characteristics of humans. Long-distance trade routes might have led to cultural explosions and resource distribution that gave humans an advantage over other similar species.
In terms of history, humans have gone through various periods and developments. They started as hunter-gatherers and then transitioned to agricultural societies during the Neolithic Revolution. This led to the emergence of early civilizations and the development of writing systems. Throughout history, humans have experienced conflicts, wars, and the rise and fall of empires. The modern period has seen technological and industrial revolutions, as well as globalization and interconnectedness.
Humans have adapted to various environments and have explored challenging places such as Antarctica, the deep sea, and outer space. They have made their presence felt on other celestial bodies through robotic spacecraft. Humans continue to shape their habitats through technology, urban planning, and resource exploitation.