Humans occupy most terrestrial environments and are the most abundant medium-sized mammal on earth. Putative early members of the species lineage are known from Africa at more than 250,000 years ago, while examples showing the modern anatomical pattern date from 195,000–100,000 years ago in Africa, and 90,000–120,000 years ago in the Middle East.

The earliest well-dated diagnostic Homo sapiens fossils in Europe, eastern Asia and Australasia date from 40,000–45,000 years, and in the Americas from less than 15,000 years.

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