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.
- Humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, language and introspection.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.