Homo erectus is a species of extinct hominin. The first fossils of H. erectus were discovered by Dutch physician Eugene Dubois in 1891 on the Indonesian island of Java. A famous example of H. erectus is Peking Man; others were found in Asia (notably in Indonesia), Africa, and Europe. Some paleoanthropologists are now using the term H. ergaster for the non-Asian forms of this group, and reserving H. erectus only for those fossils found in the Asian region. The direct ancestors of modern humans are found among H. erectus in the wider sense (ie. including ergaster).
The name means "upright man". This accurately describes the habitual stance of the species, but the upright carriage was also shared by its habiline and australopithecine ancestors (and, of course, its descendants, including us).