Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) are the only living bipedal species descended from the last common ancestor of humans and chimps. Today, modern humans inhabit every part of the globe, though the earliest fossils have been recovered at Omo Kibish, Herto, Klasies River Mouth, Skhul, and Qafzeh.

H. sapiens diagnostic traits include a relatively large brain size (about 1350 cc), a globular cranium, a continuous reduced brow ridge, a flattened face, and the presence of a chin. Post-cranially, H. sapiens is habitually bipedal, and has longer legs than arms. Interestingly, H. sapiens appears to have decreased in body size around 35,000 years ago.

Evidence suggests H. sapiens replaced Homo erectus regionally over several hundred thousand years. H. sapiens is associated with Middle and Upper Paleolithic tools manufacture and are argued to be the first logistical hunters. Cro-Magnon 1 was one of the first H. sapiens fossils to be recognized, and dates between 30 and 32 Ka.