Homo heidelbergensis – sometimes called Homo rhodesiensis – is an extinct species of the genus Homo which lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia between 600 and 200 thousand years ago. Its brain was nearly as large as that of a modern Homo sapiens. First discovered near Heidelberg in Germany in 1907, it was described and named by Otto Schoetensack.Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans (H. s. sapiens) are all descended from H. heidelbergensis. Between 300,000 and 400,000 years ago, an ancestral group of H. heidelbergensis became independent of others shortly after they had left Africa. One group branched northwest into Europe and West Asia, and eventually evolved into Neanderthals. The other group ventured eastwards throughout Asia, eventually developing into Denisovans. H. heidelbergensis evolved into H. sapiens approximately 130,000 years ago.