Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin for "wise man" or "knowing man") under the family Hominidae (the great apes). The following is a brief list of traits common to humans.

  1. Humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, language and introspection.
  2. This, combined with an erect body carriage that frees their upper limbs for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make greater use of tools than any other species.
  3. Like most primates, humans are by nature social. However, humans are particularly adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression and the exchange of ideas.
  4. Humans create complex social structures composed of co-operating and competing groups, ranging in scale from nations to individual families, and social interaction between humans has established a variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws which form the basis of human society.
  5. Humans also have a marked appreciation for beauty and aesthetics which, combined with the human desire for self-expression, has led to cultural innovations such as art, literature and music.
  6. Humans are also noted for their desire to understand and influence the world around them, seeking to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through science, religion, philosophy and mythology.
  7. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills; humans are the only known species to build fires, cook their food, clothe themselves, and use numerous other technologies.