The human (Homo sapiens) is a species of simiiform primate in the family Hominidae with cosmopolitan distribution around the world. It is the most widespread and numerous species of primate, easily identifiable by its upright bipedal stance and enlarged cranium. The earliest fossil evidence of the modern human comes from the Chibanian age of the Pleistocene epoch, in approximately 350,000 BCE. Humans are considered culture-forming animals, developing complex societies with rituals, language, and aesthetics which differentiate them from each other. The human is also known for its ability to craft tools, which enables it to build shelter and other protections against the elements. This ability is due to its complex intelligence and dexterous hands, and allows the human to survive in a wide range of habitats. Its scientific name means “wise/knowledgeable man,” in reference to its ability to learn about its environment and retain information as memory. Humans are believed to be the only surviving species in the genus Homo.
Debate exists as to how many subspecies of human there are. Only one is currently extant, Homo sapiens sapiens, but a possible extinct subspecies from approximately 154,000 years ago has been identified as Homo sapiens idaltu. Some paleontologists believe that certain closely-related extinct species, such as Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis, may in fact be subspecies of Homo sapiens. The modern human genome may also include genes from these extinct species, meaning that rather than having become truly extinct, they hybridized into the human lineage.
Their closest living relatives are those in the genus Pan, since all other species of Homo are believed to be extinct. This includes the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus). The divergence between Pan and Homo occurred roughly eight million years ago.
It is fairly easy to distinguish a human from other species of primates. Even when compared to other closely-related apes, the human has long legs and stands very upright; the hominids in general are identifiable by this stance, and the fact that they seldom use all four limbs for walking. The human’s build is such as that it cannot walk on all fours and is an obligate biped. When fully-grown, a human may stand between five feet to six and a half feet tall (1.5 to 2 meters tall) and typically weighs between 130 and 170 pounds (59 to 77 kilograms). In more recent history, humans have averaged taller than in the past due to increased medical science and nutrition. Weight outliers are more variable, and while some of this is due to congenital health status, improper nutrition (commonly due to unequal resource distribution) can cause humans to become underweight or overweight.
Another way in which the human is readily differentiated from other apes is its head. The cranium is noticeably enlarged, with the head’s dimensions exceeding that of related apes. This is because of the human’s highly developed prefrontal cortex, a region of its brain that enables complex cognition. A human’s head will appear to have a reduced chin, smaller jaws, and pronounced brows over the eyes. Its nose is triangular with downward-facing nostrils, and in some humans can project noticeably out from the face. The nose and eyes are often the most obvious facial features, with the eyes being used for some types of non-verbal communication. Eyes have white sclerae in healthy humans, and the irises are variously colored; they may be brown, blue, green, hazel, amber, or occasionally gray. In some humans, different lighting can alter the iris’s apparent color, but contrary to common belief, the pigmentation does not change. The lips of the human are another obvious facial feature, usually appearing pinker than the rest of the face. Humans also have large cheeks. The jaws are reduced, with thirty-two teeth. Compared to other apes, the canine teeth are short, nearly flush with the rest of the dentition. In the front of the jaws it has incisors, while the rear teeth are molars. Human teeth are crowded, a consequence of the reduced jaws; the rearmost molars are vestigial, and many humans remove them to prevent damage to the other teeth from overcrowding. It has a highly mobile tongue which plays a role in vocalization. The human also has obvious ears, like many apes.
While the human’s neck is typically rather short, it sits atop a set of strong shoulders. In some humans, the shoulders can be the widest part of the body, while in others the hips are the widest point. Human arms are long and can be very powerful. Due to the strength of its arms and dexterity of its hands, the human has a more accurate throwing ability than any other type of ape, and in fact most other animals. Its hands have five digits, including an opposable thumb and four long fingers. The middle finger is usually the longest. All of the fingers are capable of precise movements, giving the human advanced fine motor skills. These are not only used for manipulating objects, but for tool construction and production of art. When wet, the fingers become wrinkly; this is believed to help handle slippery objects in water. Even when dry, the fingertips have distinct ridges which give each human unique fingerprints. Each finger bears a keratinous nail, which is used for prying stubborn objects and defending against enemies, but also can be used for display purposes by the human.
The chest of this ape is deep and broad. In athletic humans, both the chest and stomach regions can have visible musculature apparent beneath the skin. Humans, like most mammals, have mammary glands from which they produce milk to feed their young; in the human there are two, located on top of the chest. Size is highly variable and, unlike other apes, they do not grow and shrink with the breeding cycle because humans lack a distinct breeding season. Since males do not produce milk, the nipples of the male are vestigial. However, the male often uses its chest to attract females, so it does not completely lack purpose. The human chest muscles are also used to improve its lifting strength, climbing ability, and to enhance its breathing for long-distance running.
In addition, the human’s legs are built for endurance. It is better at running distance than nearly any other animal, although it is slower than average over short distances. Humans can achieve speeds of around 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour) in a sprint, though exceptional specimens may exceed 16 miles (26 kilometers) per hour. For endurance running, humans move at a slower, steadier pace, jogging at speeds of four to six miles (6.4 to 9.7 kilometers) per hour. Their legs are usually rather long, and their feet are elongated and flat. Their toes are shorter and far less finger-like than other apes, though they still bear the keratinous nails. The first toe is thumb-like but not fully opposable. Unlike the fingers, the toes are not very dexterous in most humans and serve mainly to achieve balance; the toenails are mostly vestigial. Humans lack a tail, retaining only vestigial tailbones. At the top of the legs are the body’s largest muscles, usually with subcutaneous fat deposits; between these and the lack of a tail, the human has noticeable buttocks, which comfort it when it sits down.
Coloration in the human is highly variable, coming in a wide range of shades of brown. Most humans have darker tan to golden-brown skin, with many having much darker pigmentation, and some having paler skin. Freckles are common, and are more noticeable in humans with lighter tones. Skin conditions such as vitiligo may also cause areas of the human’s skin to be differently colored. Exposure to ultraviolet light causes melanin production, so humans that live in sunnier climates usually have darker-colored skin. Lighter skin is a more recent adaptation to lower sunlight at higher altitudes, to protect against depletion of vitamin D. Many humans exhibit visible scarring, especially those that live longer, or live in harsher environments. Another way in which humans show great individualism is hair. The color of the hair may be black or brown, blond, or sometimes red-orange, with intense amounts of variability within each category. Texture of the hair also varies, and is determined by protein structure; the hair may be straight, wavy, or curly. Humans mostly have thin hair, with most exhibiting the thickest and longest hair on the top of the head. Many also have facial hair, which may grow into a mustache or beard. The eyes have lashes to protect them from dust and debris, as well as hair marking the eyebrows, which are used for visual communication. Most humans have hair elsewhere on their bodies, but this greatly varies in length and density. Some humans lack hair on whole regions of their bodies. Others will intentionally remove hair, or groom their hair for cosmetic purposes.
While these provide examples of what a human may look like, they are some of the most phenotoypically diverse mammals, and exceptions to all cases are widely known. Since humans can create and use medicine and tools, they are able to modify their bodies for both cosmetic and health purposes. Humans are usually seen wearing clothing which serves a multitude of social and practical purposes, as well as using devices to aid with a disability or other medical condition. Physical modifications to the body itself are also common, including dyeing the hair, tattooing the skin, or altering parts of the body to impact their function and appearance.
Baby humans look very different from adults, and much of this is due to the unusual way that humans reproduce. Their offspring are born far more helpless than most other apes and take far longer to grow. This way, the human can achieve a much larger brain size. The infant has soft, sensitive skin and incompletely fused bones, as well as fewer teeth. The teeth grow in over the course of a few months until twenty have emerged; these are then shed as the human grows into a child and replaced with the full set of adult teeth. A human learns to stand upright and walk over the course of the first two years; since they are clumsy at first, they are called toddlers at this stage. They are considered children once they are fully confident at walking. At the age of one or two years old, humans will begin to understand the language used by adults around them, and will learn to speak through mimicry. Their bodies strengthen, making them less vulnerable.
Maturation is a slow and complicated process. It may take around twenty years for a human to reach its full size, though it achieves sexual maturity during its teenage years. Adolescence sees the human go through a decade-long period of physical growth and change, both inside and out; the brain starts to become mature at this point. The human’s decision-making process becomes noticeably improved as it goes through adolescence. A human will often become adolescent at the age of roughly ten, though some begin sooner or later than others. It is considered an adult once this process is complete, with its growth rate greatly slowing down.
In the wild, humans typically live thirty to forty years. They become slower to heal from injuries and less resistant to disease at this point, and will often die from things they would have survived in their youth. However, humans can form cultures capable of producing medicine and tools, which allows them to extend their lifespans enormously. Their bodies still weaken over time, but the process is slowed. Humans with access to medicine may live upwards of a century, the longest of any primate. As they become old, their skin becomes wrinkled and the hair will turn gray or white; in some humans the hair begins to fall out. The process of senescence can be delayed in humans with exceptionally good health, but most of them begin to visibly age by fifty or sixty years old.
Although humans do exhibit sexual dimorphism, they are greatly individualistic and few of the secondary sexual characteristics are universal. The facial structure is often used to tell the difference, but this is famously unreliable. Males are often larger and with wider hands, but as humans evolve, these differences are actually becoming less pronounced. The predisposition of males toward athleticism is often wrongly assumed to be biological in nature, whereas in reality, it is strongly influenced by societal norms. In a similar vein, females often achieve a particular body type that their society encourages. Females in most parts of the world still show greater amounts of subcutaneous body fat, which is related to reproduction; males are not quite as predisposed to this but can still put on weight just the same. The decrease in adult sexual dimorphism in humans is an aspect of neoteny, in which juvenile traits are retained into adulthood.
Humans typically wear clothing that obscures the genitals, making it far more difficult to determine their sex. However, in most societies, clothing that advertises the individual’s sex is widely promoted. Other bodily features, such as the hair, are also used as a proxy for sex identification. The male is usually encouraged to keep the hair on the head short, and grow out facial or body hair, whereas in many societies the female is expected to do the opposite. As with clothing, these are not universal rules, but rather individual choices encouraged or discouraged by social norms.
Especially in societies that are pushing toward egalitarianism, the use of outward displays to advertise anatomical sex are falling out of favor. Humans are deeply introspective with regards to the role of sex in society, and often call social norms into question as time goes on. The relations between a human’s anatomy and its identity are highly complex, and in more recent times, some societies have sought ways to assert more control over this internal relationship. Humans are capable of altering their anatomy and reproductive function in an effort to change the role they play in their societies. The intelligence and technological capability of the human make it among the most sexually complex of animals.
Humans originally evolved in tropical environments, in proximity to savannas, forests, and coastal regions. Access to fresh water is a highly important feature in their habitats. Although humans prefer warm regions where food and other resources are abundant, their tool-making abilities allow them to acclimate to most ecosystems. Inventions such as clothing, fire, and spaceflight have led humans to establish in nearly every known biome. Individual humans tend to have preferences and will seek out places they find amenable, but almost all of them prefer mild to warm temperatures, the presence of rivers or lakes, and some amount of greenery. Coasts attract many humans not just for access to water and food, but for the forms of transportation they enable. Powerful humans in positions of authority usually control large areas of coastal environment, both freshwater and saltwater.
Humans build structures of varying complexity to inhabit, giving them protection from predators and weather. Their technological capabilities have made it possible for humans to form enormous settlements across the world, altering the local environment to their needs. Cities are a type of biome that humans have engineered, consisting of sprawling artificial structures that serve a variety of purposes. These may house millions of humans. As of 2020, approximately 56% of all humans lived in cities and their outlying suburban regions. The rest are found in smaller rural communities.
The Costa Rican island of Isla Nublar was inhabited by humans for thousands of years, possibly as early as the first millennium BCE. One prominent society that lived there was the Tun-Si tribe of the Bribri people. Population statistics for the island are mostly unknown; the island was discovered by European humans in 1525, by which time the Tun-Si were well established. Over the next few centuries, the Tun-Si were slowly displaced, culminating in the 1980s when Isla Nublar was put under the control of Europeans by local and international law. Most of the Tun-Si were expelled to the Costa Rican mainland. Some were able to return years later, in the early 2000s, when the island’s owners set aside space for them. However, in 2015, mismanagement of the island by its owners forced humans to abandon it; Isla Nublar was visited infrequently until June 2018 when volcanism upended the island ecosystem. It is unknown if any humans have returned to the island since.
Historic human habitation on Isla Sorna is known but poorly understood. Humans probably lived there and on its neighboring islands for almost as long as Isla Nublar, though these islands are more isolated and therefore harder to get to. Humans on Isla Sorna probably came from Central America, so they were likely genetically and culturally similar to the humans of Isla Nublar. In the 1980s, these inhabitants were displaced when the island came under European control; mismanagement eventually forced its new owners to abandon it. Isla Sorna was infrequently visited throughout the ensuing decades and is not currently believed to be permanently inhabited.
The first humans are believed to have evolved in eastern Africa, though some paleontologists argue for different locations. Genetic evidence suggests African origin, since humans in Africa are the most genetically diverse in the world. Humans existed by at least 350,000 BCE, and between 130,000 and 50,000 years ago they began expanding their range. These migrating humans reached the Arabian Peninsula during a time when the area was far more lush, and also traveled along the southern parts of Asia. Humans in southern Asia took advantage of lower sea levels due to the ice age and established in what is now Australia; they learned how to build simple boats, allowing them to travel to islands. As the ice ages receded and sea levels began to rise, this technology proved highly useful in permitting humans to cross areas of sea that had once been dry land.
Humans became common throughout Asia and reached Europe as well. Much like in the south, they crossed through the Doggerland region thanks to the ice age’s low sea levels, but eventually that region flooded as the glaciers receded, isolating humans on the British Isles until their boats became advanced enough to cross the sea. Prehistoric humans impressively made the journey to the Americas about 33,000 years ago, and possibly even earlier. While the reduced sea levels allowed for land travel through Beringia, the use of boats allowed humans to make an ocean crossing and travel down the American Pacific coast. They eventually populated South America as well. This happened in a relatively short span of time, suggesting that their boat-building techniques were already quite advanced. Even the vast Pacific ocean became populated thanks to the use of boats. Over thousands of years, humans ventured to the most remote islands in the world and crossed huge spans of open sea. Only a few parts of the world remained uninhabited, most of these being desert regions where resources were scarce. Antarctica, most of which is a frigid desert, was the only continent without human habitation.
Around 12,000 years ago, humans began to develop sedentary settlements. Hunter-gatherers began to discover that they could cultivate edible plants by deliberately seeding them in fertile ground, and soon learned to corral animals. This was independently developed several times, first in southwest Asia and then throughout the world. Food surplus allowed these settlements to increase in size and complexity, with the development of metal tools and the advancement of medicine. Human languages developed as well, becoming more elaborate to describe their world in new ways. Written language was invented. In the fourth millennium BCE, civilizations began to appear in the form of the first city-states. These appeared in fertile areas such as Egypt, the Indus Valley, and Mesoamerica. From here, human civilizations grew and spread, eventually establishing such complex communities throughout the world.
As technology advanced, the human capability for travel increased. Boats capable of ocean crossings were developed by multiple civilizations, and overland travel was made easier with the domestication of draft animals and technology such as wheels. Over thousands of years, humans became more and more capable of traveling long distances within a single lifetime, instead of over generations. More recent history has seen medical and technological advancements that have increased longevity as well as easing travel. Human populations are larger, live longer, and are able to travel more than at any time in history. Long-distance passenger air travel was accomplished in 1958, after decades of engineering, and human spaceflight followed not long after in 1961. The farthest humans have physically traveled so far is Earth’s moon, which was visited by humans in 1969.
Global human populations have fluctuated over the millennia, but overall have shown an upward trend. It took only two hundred years for the world population to expand from one billion to seven billion, and today there are almost eight billion humans alive. Historic events have caused population loss, largely from massive natural disasters such as disease epidemics. Large-scale wars have also decreased the world population, with the most extreme being the genocide of Indigenous American peoples; by some estimates, as much as 90% of the population of the Americas was lost after European contact. The total global population has been continuously increasing since 1350 CE. Today, more than half of all humans live in Asia, the largest continent on Earth. Africa is the second-largest continent, and therefore also the second-most populous. Europe, Australasia, the Pacific, and the Americas have fewer humans, collectively making up roughly a quarter of the global population. Antarctica is the only continent without permanent inhabitants, though it has a perpetual human presence at research and monitoring stations.
The human population is expected to continue to expand. As human technology becomes more advanced, new areas may become habitable, such as the interiors of deserts and the open ocean. Some even speculate that humans may one day be able to place permanent habitations in orbit around Earth, or on other celestial bodies. Earth alone is estimated to be capable of housing up to 14 billion humans. There are concerns that, with longevity increasing without any alteration to the birth rate, the human population may eventually exceed Earth’s carrying capacity. However, as the population increases, resource availability decreases, reducing the birth and survival rates. In the future, the human population may stabilize at equilibrium, but this will not be permanent. The most likely events to reduce the human population in the future are disease, resource mismanagement, and ecological disruption resulting from the Holocene mass extinction event.
Behavior and Ecology
Humans are mostly diurnal, preferring to be awake during the day; their night vision is not excellent. Generally, humans sleep between seven and nine hours during the night. Younger humans generally need more sleep, especially adolescents, since they are growing rapidly. Adult humans often get tired sooner than younger ones, but also are alert significantly earlier. When they get old, humans once again need more sleep since they tire out faster.
Societal norms will often trump natural circadian rhythms when it comes to sleep. Some technologically-advanced societies are capitalist, and therefore are driven by the need for all lower-class humans to perpetually labor for the benefit of their upper-class superiors. A rigid and demanding work schedule forces them to alter their natural sleep patterns and avoid midday rest, instead devoting all their energy to labor. Young humans are usually required to wake and sleep at times convenient for the adults, rather than the times their health requires. However, there are some societies which conform more to natural activity patterns.
Diet and Feeding Behavior
The human is an omnivore with an astounding dietary range. It is renowned for its ability to eat virtually anything. Humans are ancestrally hunter-gatherers, seeking out sources of both meat and plant foods. By sharing information amongst the members of their society, humans are able to build up their collective knowledge about which plants and fungi are edible, where and when to find them, and what effects they may have. Likewise, they can work together to formulate plans to capture animals using traps. While humans lack large claws and fangs, they are capable of fashioning tools to substitute for natural armaments. Since ancient times, humans have made use of tools and traps to kill animals larger and stronger than themselves, yielding large amounts of meat to sustain their communities.
Humans are among the few animals capable of agriculture. Beginning many thousands of years ago, humans discovered how to cultivate edible plants, and later found ways to store non-perishable foods. The farming of animals followed; instead of just pursuing prey animals in the wild, humans developed symbiotic relationships with their prey in which they keep them safe, satisfied, and healthy in exchange for eating them. Many species of animals are cultivated for food now, with chickens, cattle and goats being among the most prominent. The human largely eats meat from mammals and birds, but fish, mollusks, and crustaceans are also highly important, especially in coastal communities. Insects, especially protein-rich larvae, are common in some parts of the world; other invertebrates are rarer in the human diet, as are reptiles and amphibians. Eggs are also a major source of protein, usually taken from ground birds. In terms of plants, humans will feed on a wide range of fruits, nuts, root vegetables, tubers, leafy greens, and cereal grains. The fruiting bodies of many types of fungi are also edible to humans.
Beyond simply eating raw food like most animals, the human has the ability to refine food. Grains can be ground into flour, which is used as a base for making bread. Eggs are used as emulsifiers, and milk from farmed mammals can be used to produce creams, butters, and cheeses. Most mammals cannot digest lactose as adults, since it is chiefly used for feeding babies, but some humans have evolved the ability to tolerate lactose in adulthood, which lets them eat dairy products. The use of fire for cooking and baking dates back to prehistoric times; humans discovered that meat could be improved by cooking it, which rids the meat of parasites and bacteria. This makes it safer to eat. Today humans have thousands of ways to prepare food using heat, and have developed entire industries around the preparation of food.
Each individual human has a preference for certain flavors and textures of food. Humans are able to taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory flavors, and will combine these in ways they find appealing with the use of spices and seasonings. These are derived chiefly from dried plants and minerals such as salt. In many cases, food preference can be elevated to the point of being a social norm; preferred or avoided types of foods form the basis of many cultural practices. Food is often used ceremonially. The diets of different cultures around the world are strikingly varied. Many regions have farming as their primary activity, and trade foodstuffs as the basis of their economy. Food has shaped the history of human cultures, and now those cultures shape how food is grown, harvested, and eaten.
Human social interactions are extremely complex and form the basis of the behaviors that define their species. Humans form tightly-knit, loyal social groups with similar goals and values. These were originally family members, but it is increasingly common for humans to bond with others who are unrelated. From here, various social groups will form communities of like-minded individuals, which connect to create larger societies with established culture. There are hundreds of cultures around the world, and thousands have existed throughout history; larger cultural blocs may contain scores of subcultures. Historically, most cultures were constrained by geographic boundaries, and to some degree they still are; however, with the development of remote communication, cultures are beginning to develop without any true physical center. Within a culture, humans generally exhibit empathy, the ability to understand the experiences of another with some degree of accuracy.
Because their intelligence is so highly developed, humans have a complex sense of self which directs many of their interactions with each other. They have individualized beliefs, interests, morals, and desires; those with similar values will often become friends. However, it is common for values of different humans to be in conflict, which will often lead to mistrust and aggression between those humans. Webs of allegiance and enmity develop within and between societies, leading to an ever-changing political landscape. Within a society, conflict is largely driven by the often complex hierarchies that develop there. Humans within a society are generally classified into categories based on the role they are expected to play. One of the most basic ways for this to occur is based on sex; female and male humans are usually assigned the genders of women and men respectively and are expected to behave along sets of guidelines associated with those genders. Members of a society may also be stratified based on heritage, including ethnic background and cultural concepts such as race. As societies become more complex, additional means of categorizing individuals occur. While some societies are egalitarian, hierarchies are much more common.
In stratified societies, humans in positions of authority usually achieve it through control of resources. This becomes a self-sustaining cycle, as authority allows the human to control resources and thereby gain even more authority. Other humans lower in the hierarchy will serve the powerful in the hopes that they will gain access to resources themselves. Members of this uppermost social class rely on the labor of those beneath them to maintain their power, but must be careful not to reward their subordinates to the point where they gain too much power. Throughout history, humans in positions of power have been toppled when they lean too far in either direction, suppressing their subordinates to the point of rebellion or hoarding resources to the point where the economy can no longer sustain itself. Power is usually associated with males, since it yields mating rights and therefore reduces the amount of work the male must do to attract a mate. Modern societies must actively push against tradition in order to assign females positions of power.
Historically, resources of importance to human societies included things such as food, water, medicine, building materials, tools, and useful land. Those who do not control these resources must often instead provide their labor in exchange for goods. In more recent times, humans have invented money currencies to substitute for items of value and desired services. This allows for the much more substantial and rapid accumulation of wealth, and makes it easier to maintain without performing actual labor. The production and personal accumulation of money is a major industry accessible to those who already have it, and is a driving force of conflict between humans at both the personal and societal levels.
When humans’ basic needs are met, their primary drives are to seek enjoyable experiences. At this point, they begin to pursue arts and sciences, and explore their world in other ways. Humans are naturally curious and creative. Producing art is a method of self-expression that humans use to communicate their inner thoughts and feelings, and is a practice as old as the human species itself. Visual and auditory media have been created as methods of expression and entertainment for many thousands of years. Science is another means humans have to explore the world; while the purpose of art is to be creative and externalize emotions, the purpose of science is to observe phenomena and attempt to determine what causes them. In early history, humans developed spiritual beliefs to explain what they saw, which have grown into religious systems with great cultural significance. Over time, humans have learned more and more about their observations and now can create highly sophisticated hypotheses and theories. Science and art often intersect in the modern world: the more humans understand, the more they can conceptualize. Scientific methods can even be used for artistic purposes, such as the creation of “designer” organisms through the process of genetic engineering.
Like all mammals, humans give live birth. Their reproductive methods are unusual compared to other primates because they are born under-developed and grow much more slowly. Humans rely on their intelligence for survival, and therefore are born with larger brains. However, this makes the birthing process quite dangerous. The head is so large that it can pose a danger to both the baby and parent, with a high risk of injury or death. Because of this, community is vital to surviving childbirth, especially for first-time mothers. Some humans in a community will specialize in aiding in this process by acting as midwives. Older and more experienced family members may also act in this role.
Pregnancy lasts approximately nine months, with some lasting closer to ten. The human baby is large in comparison to the parent, especially when the parent is a smaller individual in the first place, and therefore can pose significant discomfort and risk. Humans have no mating season and are fertile at all times of the year; courtship, therefore, can be initiated at any time. The actual courtship process is as variable as any other aspect of the human species and is wildly different from one cultural group to another, but there are some similarities. It is usually the burden of the male to attract a female, due to the danger the female will face during pregnancy and birth. In many cultures, the male is expected to be the primary provider for his family, ensuring that they have the resources they need to survive, and the courtship process involves him demonstrating this capability. Other cultures place more importance on the emotional connection between mates, so courtship involves displays of compassion and thoughtfulness. Even within the same culture, a wide array of courtship methods are accepted, with each human having a preferred way of being courted that potential suitors must determine.
Mated pairs tend to form strong bonds, and throughout most of the world, humans are serially monogamous. Many cultures encourage lifelong monogamy, but this is only accomplished under particular conditions. In historic times, particularly ancient history, polygamy was far more common; many modern cultures forbid it. Formalized relationships are practiced in most cultures. Historically, these marriages were practiced mainly for purposes of economic alliance, but are also conducted for emotional reasons; this is becoming more common in the present day. Humans typically have one to two babies at a time, with larger numbers being quite rare. The growth process is very slow, taking around two decades to reach full adulthood, and child-rearing is often the responsibility of entire communities. Children benefit from the guidance of adults such as their parents during their youth and even into adulthood; in the absence of one or both parents, other adults are expected to step in. Adoption is widespread among humans. This is especially important for homosexual couples, as they are typically not able to bear children of their own. Humans are among the few animals that can demonstrate a clear preference for homosexual relationships.
Adolescence begins after the first decade of life, and the human begins to approach sexual maturity. Most animals do not have such an extended adolescence, making human puberty a fairly unique experience in the animal kingdom. This period of growth is a challenge for most human societies because it blurs the line between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about what rights and responsibilities should be assigned when. During this time, the human will begin to formulate its identity in greater detail and begin to pursue romantic relationships. Adults often struggle with this, since adolescents will question their societal norms and can push for social change. Once adulthood is reached, after more than twenty years of age, the human will begin to establish itself as an independent member of the community.
Since it takes so long for the human to mature, raising it takes the better part of the parents’ lives. Decades of effort go into raising a human from infancy to adulthood, and if the parents reproduce more than once, the period of time they spend rearing children is extended even farther. This is why long-term relationships are favored in so many cultures; while the male is capable of breeding at later ages than the female, continuing to support his existing children gives them a better chance at survival and helps his lineage to persist. Females enter menopause after about fifty years of life and become infertile; however, grandmothers still play an important role as experienced adults who can use their knowledge to guide younger relatives and help their children raise the next generation. Success at raising children into adults is the primary goal of most humans who choose to reproduce, and forms the cornerstone of many societies. Until the advent of high-speed communication, the teaching of children was the main way that cultures spread.
Both vocal and non-vocal communications are vitally important to humans, which rely on being able to discuss with each other in order to get by in the world. They are some of only a few animals to possess actual language capabilities, and there are more than seven thousand spoken human languages. Each one may have dialects; depending on how widespread the language’s speakers are, some may have dozens of dialects based on region, social class, and ethnic group. Individual words can have strikingly different meanings depending on the social group they are used in, even if the groups are considered to be broadly speaking the same language. The lines between one language and another can become blurred when the meanings of words start to change; mutual intelligibility is considered a key concept in distinguishing languages from each other.
The causes of language change over time are largely societal in nature. Just as culture constantly grows and develops, language does as well. Agreed-upon definitions of words may be altered, amended, or abandoned based on the needs of those using them, and new words are invented as new concepts are discovered. In the English language alone during the early 2020s, an average of one new word was invented every 98 minutes according to the Global Language Monitor. English is considered the language with the largest vocabulary with well over a million words, while the highly-metaphorical Toki Pona language has just over 120 words. The invention of new words, and even more so the alteration to existing ones, can become a major source of confusion and conflict. This is especially so between generations; a word may have meant one thing historically, but is assigned new meaning by younger humans as the culture changes.
Identification of individual humans is accomplished through personal names. Most cultures have family names, which describe the lineage from which the individual hails; a personal name is assigned, usually by the parents, to further distinguish the individual from others. A human may also be given various other names at points in its life; its personal name may be shortened to a nickname, or replaced altogether if the human does not like its assigned personal name.
Humans also use nonverbal cues to communicate. These were highly important in prehistoric times, when humans needed to communicate quietly in order to sneak up on game or hide from danger. Nonverbal communication is often more universally-understood than most spoken languages, but can be easily misunderstood. Body language differs between cultures just as spoken language does. Some of the most universal ones are pointing with the index finger, which is used to direct attention to something, and certain facial expressions such as smiling (to indicate pleasure) and frowning (to indicate displeasure). Advanced forms of this have developed into visual hand-sign languages which allow deaf humans to communicate highly effectively. Most spoken languages have written or pictorial equivalents as well, using symbols to convey meaning or to represent the phonetic sounds of words. Even in languages that do not have written alphabets still make use of imagery. Art, more than just being self-expression, can be used to communicate between artist and audience. Sometimes these symbolic forms of communication are more effective than the spoken word, even if the kinds of information they can transmit are extremely different in nature.
Humans are considered ecosystem engineers, capable of reconstructing ecology to suit their needs and presenting themselves as a significant evolutionary pressure over time. By altering habitats and harvesting organisms for resources, humans can cause species to become extinct, and can eventually cause new species to evolve. They are the first macroscopic organism identified which can cause such widespread ecological change; while severe mass extinction events have been caused by living things in the prehistoric past, these were all microorganisms. Under normal conditions, humans achieve forms of equilibrium with their environment after a period of integrating into it, but certain societal circumstances will favor exponential population growth and corresponding resource use, culminating with the total depletion of natural resources and collapse of the population.
Interplay between these two forms of society can be witnessed in environments around the world; here, we use North America as an example. When humans first arrived to the continent, they slowly integrated into the ecosystem, causing changes over a period of time. Megafauna such as ground sloths and mammoths became extinct gradually, possibly due to hunting pressure. Eventually, as humans developed more understanding of the ecosystem they were living in, they began cultivating the land. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, the practice of garden forests was invented. These intentional woodlands resemble naturally-occurring forests, but consist entirely of species that are beneficial to humans and the conditions those plants need to grow. This way, the growth of certain native species was favored. For thousands of years, humans were an integral part of various North American ecosystems.
During the fifteenth century, Northern European-originating humans began colonizing North America, bringing with them the cultural relationships with nature established as normal within their empires. In these cultures, equilibrium with nature was considered primitive and unrefined, whereas dominion over nature was idealized. Therefore, when they came to North America, they began heavily modifying the ecosystems they encountered to better suit their societal norms, leading to mass ecological degradation and the extinctions of many species. Some of these extinctions were deliberate acts of warfare against the Indigenous Americans, for example the near-total extermination of the bison. The conflict between Indigenous and colonizing cultures has defined North American ecology in the hundreds of years since, with the continent’s ecosystems only beginning to recover in recent times as European-American societal norms have changed to reflect an increased understanding of ecology. There is still strong societal opposition to environmental restoration in significantly large European-American populations across the continent, and Indigenous American societal norms are heavily suppressed by the colonizing population. Therefore, even in areas where North America is recovering, it will likely never resemble its pre-colonization state.
Throughout history, humans have developed an increasing ability to manipulate organisms as they have collectively learned more and more about biology. This has led to the evolution of totally new species, as well as alterations to existing species. Since prehistoric times, humans have selectively bred plants and animals to yield lineages with favorable traits; among animals, the earliest examples of this were goats, dogs, and cattle. Some of these animals, such as cattle, were bred for resources such as food. Others, such as dogs, were bred for the services they can provide. This process, in which wild-type species are bred to suit human needs, is called domestication. When practiced in its natural form, it is a type of mutualistic symbiosis; the human obtains resources or services from the domesticated creature, which in exchange is given a better life than it would have in the wild. Some of the animals and plants which humans breed are now distinctly different from their ancestors; the dog is a dramatic example, with some breeds barely resembling the wolf-like canines they descended from. Modern domestic dogs are considered a new species by scientists, genetically distinct from the original animals. The ability to alter life forms intentionally has grown quite advanced in some human societies with the development of genetic modification, which allows humans to bypass the selective breeding process and directly alter DNA. This has led to major alterations to life on Earth, including the development of new species via artificial hybridogenesis. Even the process of extinction can be, to a limited degree, reversed by technological intervention.
Some species benefit from the presence of humans. If they can avoid being caught, small opportunistic animals can shelter within human homes and steal food, while many others feed on refuse. Rodents and other small mammals, many types of insects and arachnids, and smaller reptiles such as snakes and lizards are frequently found in or around human habitation. In areas near human homes, herbivorous animals are often spared from predators, since humans will often drive away or kill animals that could threaten their offspring. In North America and Europe, the mass killing of wolves and coyotes causes deer populations to boom. The widespread movement of humans across the globe also facilitates the spread of certain species to new environments, often accidentally; when introduced to a new area, a species may become invasive and drastically alter the ecosystem. This can be detrimental to the humans as well, who must then undertake efforts to eradicate the accidentally-introduced invader. Some invasive species are introduced on purpose: these are commonly domestic species, or those that humans find aesthetically appealing. In between bringing new organisms to an environment and harvesting native species for food and other resources, humans have the ability to change not just the physical structure of a land, but also its biological makeup.
Although their tool-crafting abilities give them a major advantage over other animals, humans are not invulnerable. In the wild, their main predators are big cats, crocodilians, and large canines such as wolves. They can avoid these predators by constructing shelter and defensive tools, but each year, attacks on humans by wild animals occur. Along with larger animals, humans are vulnerable to venomous animals, namely certain spiders and snakes which are attracted to the quiet and warm shelter of human homes. Blood-feeding invertebrates are an even bigger threat, as they carry many diseases that can be fatal to humans. It is estimated that the mosquito, by means of the parasitic, viral, and bacterial diseases it spreads, is responsible for more human deaths than any other animal (including human intraspecific violence). Humans can use their tools and shelter to defend against larger predators, but small threats like insects and parasites require the use of more specialized medical techniques. Bacteria and viruses are major disease agents in humans, although there are also many microorganisms in the human microbiome that are symbiotic and beneficial. Hundreds of species of bacteria, fungi, archaea, viruses, and other minute organisms inhabit the human body.
Because of their prominence in society, humans are one of the most commonly depicted creatures, with some ancient artwork depicting humans having been dated to tens of thousands of years ago. Since the very beginning, the distinctly unique appearance of the human and its immensely complicated behavior has caused artists to distinguish it from other aspects of the natural world; this human-nature dichotomy is present in nearly every culture, pervading into society and politics. Foremost in this understanding are humans’ tool-building capabilities, their ability to learn about and catalogue the world around them, and their capacity for abstract thought. Beyond this, cultural depictions of humans grow extremely varied.
One of the defining features of human portrayal in cultural symbolism is religion. The world’s belief systems almost universally seek to answer questions about why humans exist, and whether their nature is inherently compassionate or selfish. The answers to these questions provided by a society’s religion are determinate in what humans symbolize in the associated cultures. For the first question, why humans exist, answers are largely based on the observation that humans are distinct from other animals. Many religious practices assign humans important spiritual purpose, often having been elevated above other species or created separately from them. Humans may symbolize the pinnacle of evolution, or totally disparate from nature and superior to it. Others take a more critical view, considering humans a new creation that lacks the naturalistic wisdom of animal instinct. Tempering these interpretations is the answer to the question of human nature; whether humans’ primary trait is compassion or selfishness. In cultures that favor the former, humans are viewed in a positive light, and symbolize enlightenment, ingenuity, and community. In cultures that favor the latter, humans are considered much more negatively and symbolize corruption, ignorance, and greed.
As the world has grown more technologically advanced and communication becomes easier, these wildly different views on the nature of humanity have become blended in complex and often confusing ways. It is not uncommon for the same human behavior to have wholly different meanings between two people. The intersections of religion, political ambition, and economic conflict can cause the concept of “humanity” to take on an uncountable number of symbolic meanings in multicultural societies. Often, entire groups of humans will be left out when humans are used as symbolism, with the non-dominant demographics usually being the ones forgotten. In capitalist societies, for example, it is customary for societal flaws to be blamed on humans as a whole, rather than the specific groups in power who facilitate acts of oppression and environmental destruction. The reasons for this are highly varied, but essentially can all be reduced to an implicitly biased idea of who should be considered representative of all humans. This view is radically different in other types of societies, where the concept of humanity is instead intended to imply equal value for all humans.
Humans are among a small number of species that are considered to have self-domesticated. In this view, more or less all modern humans live in forms of self-imposed captivity, though some societies are more restrictive than others. It is believed that early human societies were simple and relatively egalitarian, with hunting and foraging being the main strenuous activities. The rest of the day was taken up by curious investigation, artistic expression, social bonding, and other forms of enjoyment. Because they are so intelligent, humans require massive amounts of stimulation in order to remain satisfied. This is the reason for their diverse creative pursuits.
A large number of modern societies have discouraged this lifestyle. Humans are, like most animals, driven to accumulate resources as best they can; this is taken to an extreme in capitalist or corporatist societies, which have entire social castes devoted simply to possessing nearly all the society’s resources. Below them, less dominant humans fight for scraps, eschewing the forms of recreation they evolved to enjoy. When deprived of these living conditions, humans will rapidly begin exhibiting maladaptive behaviors. Societies where this is common will normalize such maladaptive behavior in order to discourage the lower castes rebelling against their superiors.
The most restrictive forms of captivity humans are subject to are not self-imposed, but rather imposed by imperialist societies against weaker civilizations. When one population of humans grows powerful, it has the capability to capture and enslave the people of other areas, generally to obtain a source of low-resource physical labor. These conditions are universally unhealthy and lead to death at an abnormally young age. It is believed that millions of humans have been killed due to enslavement throughout history. Over time in a given society, sociopolitical pressure (usually beginning among lower-class populations) will oppose enslavement, while the ruling class seeks increasingly subtle ways to continue practicing it. A notable example comes from the United States. While this country technically outlawed enslaving people in the nineteenth century, its ruling class has created socioeconomic conditions that prevent people from supporting themselves, forcing them into squalor if they do not labor constantly. Then, homelessness and other inevitable consequences of poverty are outlawed, punishable by imprisonment. Once imprisoned, the United States permits people to be forced to work without compensation. Therefore, people can still be enslaved, but are treated as though they deliberately chose this punishment.
The human has been researched extensively and is the subject of many ongoing scientific research projects. Its complex intelligence makes it an ideal candidate for a research specimen, since a good number of humans are capable of understanding scientific concepts and can cooperate with research. In fact, better understanding human intelligence is a major goal of numerous studies. Human psychology has impacts on all aspects of society, and has a layered and fascinating relationship with human biology. Much scientific attention is given to parsing out which features of human behavior are more socially constructed, and which predominantly arise from humans’ evolutionary past. It is likely the two are inextricably linked, with no clear boundary defining whether a trait is societal or biological in nature.
Medical science focuses strongly on the human body, ranging from long-term health to minute cellular and genetic components. The entire human genome has been sequenced, with the first major efforts to catalogue this massive genetic data bank taking place between 1990 and 2003. At the time, 92% of the human genome was sequenced; as of 2022, it was complete. Human anatomy is another major area of study, and though the human body is relatively well-known, new organs are occasionally still discovered after being overlooked throughout history. The functions of other organs are also still being researched. The vermiform appendix, long thought to be a wholly vestigial structure, is a good example of this; scientists now believe that it may function as a component of the human microbiome, housing beneficial microorganisms that aid in digestion. While the human body has been studied for thousands of years, it still yields new secrets with each experiment, especially in developing areas of research such as epigenetics. New information discovered about human anatomy, physiology, and genetics has led to breakthroughs in a wide range of medical fields, from pharmacology to gene therapy. As the diversity of the human body is fully realized, treatments for individuals can be even more tailored to their particular needs, making medicine overall more effective.
The study of human evolution is another major field of science in which humans are applicable. While the human is distinctly different from other apes in terms of anatomy, its relation to the natural world has been speculated upon for most of history, and eventually subject to scientific study. More rigorous research beginning in the nineteenth century led to the discovery of human evolutionary relationships to the primate lineage, eventually placing humans as close relatives of the chimpanzees and bonobos. As paleontology grew in scope and understanding, the evolutionary history of humans has become more completely documented, with numerous transitional forms between various types of prehistoric hominid discovered throughout the Old World. Many of these are found in Africa, while relatives of humans have been discovered in Asia, Australasia, and Europe. Once modern humans arise in the paleontological record, research begins to transition into archaeology and anthropology, chronicling the dispersal of humans throughout the world and the development of the first civilizations. The closer one gets to the modern day, the more complete the human historical record becomes. However, there remain tantalizing empty spaces in many areas of history, and new historical discoveries are being made constantly. Attaining a complete picture of all human history may be an impossible task, but this simply means that newly-discovered information will fuel the study of humanity for the foreseeable future.
Nearly all of politics is intended to regulate human behavior. It ties directly into concepts of morality, which differ greatly from one culture to the next as discussed previously. Political policy in a given society will develop based on whether humans are considered inherently good or evil, or whether the society takes a more nuanced approach. The first known example of written law is the Code of Ur-Nammu, which was created between 2100 and 2050 BCE. Most of the consequences for immoral actions in these early laws involve the payment of money in exchange for damages, with more severe punishments including death as the consequence for other crimes. Similar, though much more refined, practices can be found in most societies today: the obligated payment of money to the victim of a crime is one of the more common consequences. While torture is becoming very uncommon, as are other forms of deliberate cruelty, the death penalty is still practiced around the world. This is generally reserved for the most severe crimes, but lends itself to the question of whether it is possible for a human to lose all value.
Of course, the idea that a human can lose any value to society is based on the idea that all people have a certain amount of value in the first place. How this is assigned is extremely variable, but the most common method is the possession of resources, followed by ability to perform tasks. A human who controls resources will inherently become dominant over others by virtue of possessing that which others need; if one has no such social power, the ability to lend services will suffice instead. The unfortunate result of this is that people who have no control of resources, and lack the power to perform useful tasks, are relegated to a position at the bottom of the social hierarchy and have no way to be viewed as having worth. Disabled humans are some of the most neglected, needing to work significantly harder simply to approach the most basic forms of social equality. In some societies throughout history, disability disqualifies certain people from having value at all. Because it is so rooted in natural selection, discrimination against the disabled is highly normalized in most societies and there is little to no motivation among able-bodied people to better these conditions. Other methods of assigning humans a place on the value hierarchy are dependent upon more esoteric social norms, and grow more complicated as societies become more multicultural.
The interactions between different cultures is one of the biggest drivers of political policy. Historically, vying for control over resources has been the first and foremost cause of conflict. As societies grew from simple hunter-gatherers into more refined civilizations, moral belief systems began to develop, and while these had many similarities between societies they also had prominent differences. Even within the same society, different demographics can have conflicting ideas about what is right and wrong. Laws at varying levels of government try to resolve this, but humans are unlikely to let go of strongly-held beliefs even when presented with convincing arguments, so conflict is often unavoidable. This leads to bias, both conscious and unconscious, which can grow into hatred and eventually violence. When this happens on societal scales, wars may occur. The mitigation of conflict is a vital component of civilization because its purpose is to avoid war, finding mutually-acceptable solutions to these issues before wide-scale violence becomes inevitable. However, there are some people who consider this a futile effort. In the worst examples of this misanthropy, humans will predict, encourage, and then profit off of conflict.
With their dexterity and problem-solving intelligence, humans are capable of crafting and constructing all manner of things, which makes them very valuable, especially in societies that have not developed self-replicating technologies. Humans can also manufacture specialized foodstuffs from various natural resources. Manufacturing and labor are the main uses for humans in society; while the human can perform these tasks to support itself and its community voluntarily, many more developed societies make work compulsory. Arts and sciences are other valuable products that humans can produce, but their value is not usually recognized immediately upon creation. Instead, artwork and scientific knowledge often exist for a time before they are found to be of economic benefit. In many cases, their value is not recognized until after the creator has died. However, art produced and performed by famous humans is considered inherently valuable and is richly rewarded, often regardless of its actual quality.
Like all animals, the human is also valued for biological products. Since it is considered a sapient being, the human must legally give consent in most situations. Examples of resources obtained from humans include skin, organs, and blood, which are used for grafting, transplantation, and transfusion respectively. These are usually donated posthumously, though sometimes while the donor is still alive, and used to treat health problems in other humans. Reproduction is another major industry in which humans are relevant; infertility may be addressed using donated sperm or eggs, and some female humans can act as surrogate parents. Stem cells are also harvested from humans for cloning research, but as of this writing, cloning is only approved for therapeutic purposes; reproductive cloning is banned and has only been studied by a select number of scientists working outside the law.
Although the human is usually non-aggressive, its complex intelligence makes it inherently unpredictable, and a seemingly safe situation can suddenly turn dangerous. Humans kill an estimated 475,000 people every year, second only to mosquitoes in terms of deaths caused. Since this primate is found all over the world and is extremely common, it may not be practical for you to avoid them completely unless you live in an extremely isolated area. Many people live in places with high concentrations of humans and therefore have no choice but to interact with them on a daily basis, so it is useful to know how to avoid aggressive encounters, and to defend yourself in the event of an attack.
Like most primates, the human is social and communicative, so the most common reasons for aggression are misidentified social cues. It is best to understand the societal norms and practices of the area you are in, so that you can accurately interpret the behaviors of humans around you and respond appropriately. In many cases, an accidental offense can be resolved through apology, so learn how to do this. Humans will also sometimes calm down if they are appeased by being given something they want, but you must be careful using this approach, since the human is (like all primates) fundamentally reward-driven. It is most advisable to resolve a conflict quickly and vacate the area if you can.
It should be noted that humans are tribalistic, forming tightly-knit communities based on shared culture, and may become hostile to perceived outsiders more often than usual. A group of humans may mistake you for a threat if you are easily distinguished from them (humans originating from certain parts of Europe are especially notorious for this) and cannot be easily dissuaded. Unfortunately there is no simple way for defusing these kinds of situations. To discourage aggression, you may want to travel in groups, especially with humans that you know and trust. In general, humans are less likely to attack groups than a lone person. Within any given society, humans that possess authority (either through control of resources, or through association with another authority figure) are generally more dangerous, since their actions are exempt from social consequences. This tendency becomes more severe in societies with high wealth disparity. Other forms of violence also tend to be exacerbated in such societies, since artificial resource scarcity and stressful working conditions cause humans to become bored, irritable, or both. Sexually frustrated males are also dangerous and should be avoided.
When it becomes aggressive, a human may make loud noises, gesture wildly with its arms, and make mock charges. While humans can be calmed down from this state, their highly individualized personalities make it very difficult to determine on the fly how best to do this. Do not assume an aggressive stance yourself, but also make sure not to behave submissively, as this could provoke the human. If you are not able to escape quickly, you may have to prepare to defend yourself. A human’s main form of attack is to punch with its fists, which have evolved for intraspecific combat and are usually aimed at the head to stun or (in extreme cases) to kill its victim. Obviously attempt to avoid this attack, but if you are not especially agile, it is important to try and block it; use your forearms to absorb the impact and protect your face. The human may also attempt to grapple with you using its hands, so keep your neck shielded as best you can. If it grabs your arm, try and twist so that your arm is on top, making it easier to pull away.
If you have a chance to strike your enemy, remember that the human’s weak points are its eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, and genitals. Try to kick, jab with your elbow, or punch these vulnerable areas. This will cause the human pain, slow its attack, and give you a chance to get away. Kicking the human’s kneecaps is another effective way to slow it down. Also defend yourself using any objects you have on your person, but only carry a weapon if you are trained in how to effectively use it. Know that the human is intelligent enough to anticipate your attacks; be as unpredictable as possible. Beware of causing fatal harm, since it is illegal to kill a human in most countries.
It is vital to remember that humans seldom travel alone, and do not take kindly to harm done to their own kind, even if you were acting in self-defense. This is another reason it is best to keep company around when you are in areas inhabited by humans. Having multiple people will discourage further attacks, or in a worst-case scenario (such as when authority figures with weapons are involved), friends can help you keep an eye out for danger. Once you escape an aggressive human, put as much distance between it and yourself as possible. If you can, try and cross a border into a different human’s territory where your pursuer might not hold power. Get any wounds treated as soon as you can, especially bites, since humans are vectors for many diseases.
Most human encounters can be ended non-violently, and this is obviously the preferable course of action for everyone involved. In many cases, a human will back down if it believes it will sustain harm from a fight, so confidence (or at least the appearance of confidence) will help. Jurassic-Pedia is not an official self-defense information resource, but there are numerous sources which can teach you more about how to defend against humans. If you believe you are vulnerable to attack, or if you simply want peace of mind, do not be shy about researching defensive techniques and practicing them with people you trust.
Behind the Scenes
The human is one of relatively few species in the Jurassic Park films to be portrayed nearly exclusively through live-action, with no animatronics utilized and CGI used only in brief shots. This is due to the wide availability of human actors who can appear in films.