Homo erectus inhabited Africa, Asia and Europe some 1.6 million years ago, and remained active in these areas until around 250,000 years ago. Their large brains allowed them to easily adapt to a wide variety of environments. Fossils of Homo erectus have been found in forests, plains and grasslands.
Historians believe that Homo erectus began as gatherers but advanced over many generations into hunters. The women likely stayed close to home where they cared for children and gathered nuts, fruit and leaves for eating.
It is believed that the men went in hunting groups in search of meat. At first they only looked for animals that were already dead. Over time, however, they developed tools, such as clubs, that allowed them to hunt and kill animals.
With the discovery of fire, Homo erectus became even more adept at survival. Fire allowed them to cook their food, to stay warm in cool environments, and to utilize caves as shelter.
In order to keep warm, Homo erectus began utilizing clothing. This began with individuals placing animal skins over their bodies, and became more advanced as they learned to stitch animal skins together using strips of leather.