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Thread: My classification of genus Homo

  1. #11
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    Question: Is the partial skull of Homo sapiens helmei complete enough to recognize it as a formal subspecies, or is it best regarded as a synonym?

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinman View Post
    I have been struggling with the scientific classification of genus Homo for decades, especially what should be reduced to subspecies instead of full species. I have recognized only three species for quite some time, but I wonder if there are more major subspecies that should be added to those that I recognize below. Suggestions would be welcome.
    Below is my present classification with symbols to the left showing their cladistic (or sometimes paraphyletic) relationships. The alphanumeric coding is cladistic (showing the cladistic order in which they split off). the underlined _a_ indicates that it is an exgroup from the taxon just above it, making that taxon paraphyletic (indicated by the % symbol following it).

    1 Homo habilis%

    1 H. h. rudolfensis

    2A H. h. habilis

    2B H. h. floresiensis ("hobbit")

    3 {{H. erectus + H. sapiens}} (exgroup marker)



    _a_ Homo erectus%

    1 H. e. georgicus

    2 H. e. ergaster

    3 H. e. erectus%

    _a_ {{Homo sapiens}} (exgroup marker)



    _a_ Homo sapiens

    1A H. s. antecessor

    1B H. s. cepranensis

    2 H. s. heidelbergensis%

    _a_ H. s. neanderthalensis

    3 H. s. rhodesiensis

    4 H. s. idaltu

    5 H. s. sapiens

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Ceprano skull was recently re-reconstructed and found to be in the Heidelberg variance.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14437-2

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  5. #13
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    Thank you, epoch. That paper makes a very good case with its new information. I shall therefore change cepranensis from a subspecies to a synonym of H. s. heidelbergensis.

  6. #14
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    Dear All,
    I have removed H. s. cepranensis as a subspecies, and it is now listed as a synonym of H. s. heidelbergensis. This is based on a 2017 research paper in Nature (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14437-2).
    More importantly, I have finally decided where to temporarily place Homo naledi (named in 2015). I obviously do not believe that it merits full species status, and was even a bit tempted to place it as a synonym of either Homo erectus georgicus or of Homo erectus ergaster.
    However, the 2017 discovery that it was so unexpectedly young (roughly 250,000 years old), and yet has some very primitive features (mixed with some advanced features), would make it unwise to synonymize at this time. From the original paper: "This species combines a humanlike body size and stature with an australopith-sized brain; features of the shoulder and hand apparently well-suited for climbing with humanlike hand and wrist adaptations for manipulation; australopith-like hip mechanics with humanlike terrestrial adaptations of the foot and lower limb; small dentition with primitive dental proportions."
    Therefore, I am (at least temporarily) placing naledi as a subspecies between H. e. georgicus and H. e. ergaster. Unless its primitive features display a very unusual mixture of reversals, Homo erectus naledi probably has a fairly lengthy unknown lineage that would take it back to the time of georgicus and ergaster. I suppose some might even argue that it might even belong in Homo habilis. Should be interesting to see what additional material might show, especially if such material dates to a much earlier time. It could shake things up even more than it has already.
    -------------Ken Kinman

    1 Homo habilis%

    1 H. h. rudolfensis

    2A H. h. habilis

    2B H. h. floresiensis ("hobbit")

    3 {{H. erectus + H. sapiens}} (exgroup marker)



    _a_ Homo erectus%

    1 H. e. georgicus

    ? H. e. naledi

    2 H. e. ergaster

    3 H. e. erectus%

    _a_ {{Homo sapiens}} (exgroup marker)



    _a_ Homo sapiens

    1 H. s. antecessor

    2 H. s. heidelbergensis% (incl. cepranensis)

    _a_ H. s. neanderthalensis

    3 H. s. rhodesiensis

    4 H. s. idaltu

    5 H. s. sapiens

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

  7. #15
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    Decided not to recognize helmei as a formal subspecies. Not enough material to be that useful.

  8. #16
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    Here is a classification of Australopithecus that I proposed some years showing Australopithecus garhi as the sister taxon of genus Homo. I don't know if I would still show the same sister group relationship today, but I will look into it soon.

    1 Australopithecus%
    1 A. anamensis
    2 A. afarensis
    ? A. platyops
    3 A. aethiopicus
    _a_ A. boisei
    B A. robustus
    4 A. africanus
    ? A. sediba
    5 A. garhi
    6 {{Homo}}

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