Homo arigato: This rather fanciful rendering portrays the relatively petite Homo habilis in its natural habitat.
Scientists studying two hominid fossils from Kenya have cause to wonder whether Homo erectus, considered the direct predecessor to the species of humans currently enjoying evolutionary predominance, Homo sapiens, actually evolved from the smaller Homo habilis or whether the two coexisted for about half a million years.
If Homo erectus had evolved from habilis and stayed within the same location then both must have been in direct competition for the same resources.
Eventually, one would have out-competed the other.
“The fact that they stayed separate as individual species for a long time suggests that they had their own distinct ecological niches, thus avoiding direct competition,” Professor [Meave] Leakey explained.