Humans have a long period of development after birth. Their life depends less on instinct than other animals, and more on learning. Humans are also born with their brains not so well developed as those of other mammals. This makes for an unusually long childhood, and which makes family life important. If their brains were better developed at birth, they would be larger, and this would make birth more difficult. In birth, the baby’s head has to get through the ‘birth canal’, a passageway through the mother’s pelvis.
Many animals use signs and sounds to communicate with each other. But humans have a complex system called language. It allows them to express ideas by using words. Humans are capable of making abstract ideas and communicating them to others. Human language can express things that are not present, or talk about events that are not happening at that time. The things might be elsewhere, and the events may also have occurred at another place or time.
No known animals have a system of communication that is as elaborate as human language. By using words to communicate with each other, humans make complex communities with laws, traditions and customs. Humans like to understand the world around them. They try to explain things through myth, science and philosophy. Wanting to understand things has helped humans make important discoveries.
Humans are the only species living today known to build fires, to cook their food and wear clothes. Humans use more technology than any other animal on Earth ever has. Humans like things that are beautiful and like to make art, literature and music. Humans use education and teaching to pass on skills, ideas and customs to the next generations.