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At the time when Darwin was writing, there was only the most rudimentary sort of a fossil record to support his view, and he was further hindered by the use of the term man to stand for the human species as a whole.As that word suggests, there was a tendency to conceive of males as typifying the human condition.Even though actual tools have not been discovered, it seems unlikely that a relatively slow-moving terrestrial biped lacking defensively enlarged canine teeth could have survived without them.Prehuman bipeds predated stone tools, which appeared approximately 2.5 million years ago.

Subsequently Diogenes the Cynic, in an equally flippant fashion, displayed a plucked chicken and declared, "Here is Plato's man." Plato's student, Aristotle, also was concerned with verbal definitions and distinctions, but he went on to describe the natural world in a matter-of-fact fashion that has earned him recognition as the founder of the biological sciences.

Actual hominid skeletal remains are quite rare, but once stone tools begin to appear in the archaeological record, the areas occupied by toolmakers can be traced through the time writing begins and prehistory proper comes to an end.

The task of discovering the extent and form of prehistoric tools is the focus of archaeology.

Stone tools, however, do not dissolve and disappear the way bones often do.

After their makers had discarded them, they continued to exist as witnesses to the activities of the early hominids--a term used for creatures that are more than just apes and which includes everything from prehuman bipeds up to contemporary human beings.

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