Sapiens

Class: Mammalian

Order: Primate

Planet of origin: Earth

Current homeworld: Earth

Range: Compact of Humanity in Assembly, Metisian Republic, various non-aligned Class-E and Class-M worlds

 

Sapiens, also known as Homo sapiens, were one of three original species of humans known to exist in the fifth century of the Interstellar Era. Evidence suggests a small group may have been taken from Earth in the distant past after a set of Neanderthals and Denisovans were transplanted other worlds more than fifty thousand years earlier. However, the transplanted Homo Neanderthalis population evolved into modern Orags while the Denisovans had left evidence of a space-faring civilization, though contact remained sporadic and only mentioned apocryphally.

Sapiens evolved in southern Africa. While the other two advanced species of human developed language and abstract thought at roughly the same time, some twenty thousand years before the World War Era, Sapiens also reproduced rapidly, migrating north, and absorbing the dwindling Neanderthal and Denisovan populations through interbreeding. Like their brethren to the north in Eurasia, Sapiens quickly developed speech and could communicate symbolically, as evidenced by cave paintings left behind. The species swept into Europe and the Middle East of Earth, eventually fanning out and crossing oceans and then-exposed land bridges to populate the entire Earth.

Sapiens proved more adaptable to varied climate and changes to the overall climate on Earth, becoming the dominant human species during the last major ice age. As the climate warmed, they formed more complex groups than their original tribal arrangements, and developed agriculture and metal working.

At the end of the twentieth century AD, humans numbered almost eight billion, had traveled to Earth’s satellite, and could send robotic probes to other planets in Sol System. Though the twenty-first century saw the consequences of poor environmental and societal management, they traveled to their nearest planetary neighbor, Mars, had eradicated most plagues (most notably small pox and polio), and could harness various forms of nuclear power. However, they also developed the capacity for self-annihilation in warfare via nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. The World War Era ended both in an exchange of nuclear “pot shots” and the suppression of an AI uprising.

In the early twenty-second century, the Interstellar Era began with the discovery of a stable wormhole between Sol’s Oort cloud and what is now known as Jefivah. The subsequent discovery of a wormhole network leading to several Class-E worlds led to a colonization boom. Humanity spread out among the stars, made mostly peaceful contact with other species, and formed their primary polity, the Compact of Humanity in Assembly. The Metisian Republic spun off from this entity, though maintained good relations with its parent entity in its early years.

Humans had a binary sexual dimorphism with males fertilizing eggs within females. Under natural processes, females gave live births. It took a human approximately sixteen to nineteen years to mature. Though roughly five racial variants existed in BC era, they all were virtually identically to the point where one individual could be a blood or organ donor for any other individual as long as certain genetic conditions were met. Migration and interbreeding¬† caused expansion in the number of variants, and moving among the stars into quasi-isolated alien environments added more. They generally had brown skin tone, with lighter ones of European descent being called “white” despite a certain amount of pigmentation. A few were solid black or extremely white, depending on ancestry. Unlike other great apes of Earth, they lacked natural climbing ability but could adapt readily to extreme climates. Many lived in polar regions while others thrived in places with high humidity and heat or even deserts.

They could be an aggressive species and were certainly possessive in many circumstances. Their ability to coin and implement new concepts, however, often overcame their tendency to outpace their own evolution. One anthropologist remarked that humans became smart before they ever evolved the ability to handle it.

From a xenobiology standpoint, humans fall into the primate classification, or more accurately, xeno-primates: Live births, warm-blooded, bipedal with five digits at the end of each of their four limbs. Higher cognitive functions occur in a cerebral cortex in the brain. Humans vocalize via a larynx in their throats, modulating the sound with their tongue and mouth.

While certain cetacean life forms have been determined to be intelligent, even sapient, humans remain the only native land intelligence on Earth.