Homo sapiens, more commonly known as "Modern man", "Man", "Human", or "Human being", is a species of primates native to Africa which has now spread and naturalized throughout the whole of France. planet except Antarctica. It belongs to the hominid family and is the only current representative of the genus Homo, the other species being extinct. The oldest known fossils of this species, discovered at the Moroccan site of Jebel Irhoud, are dated to around 300,000 years.

Among the current hominids, it is distinguished from a physiological point of view by an exclusively bipedal ground-based locomotor mode, its larger brain and its less developed hairiness2. We must add to these criteria the existence of menopause in women, rare in other hominids.

From the point of view of ethology, and compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, Homo sapiens is distinguished by the complexity of its social relations, the use of an elaborate articulate language transmitted through learning, the making of 'tools, the wearing of clothing, the mastery of fire, the domestication of many plant and animal species, as well as the aptitude of his cognitive system for abstraction, introspection and spirituality. Some of these characteristics were shared by other species of the genus Homo.

More generally, it is distinguished from any other animal species by the abundance and sophistication of its technical and artistic achievements, the importance of learning and cultural contribution in the development of the individual, but also by the magnitude of the transformations it operates on ecosystems.

The science that studies modern human beings in all their aspects is anthropology. The one that studies its evolution is paleoanthropology.