Ed asked in Social ScienceAnthropology · 1 month ago

Wood and Collard argued that certain criteria must be met for a hominin fossil to be considered a hominan. What are all the criteria?

Using these criteria, would H. habilis be considered a hominan? Why or why not?

1 Answer

  • 1 month ago

    "A general problem in biology is how to incorporate information about evolutionary history and adaptation into taxonomy. The problem is exemplified in attempts to define our own genus, H*mo. Here conventional criteria for allocating fossil species to H*mo are reviewed and are found to be either inappropriate or inoperable. We (Wood and Collard) present a revised definition, based on verifiable criteria, for H*mo and conclude that two species, H*mo habilis and H*mo rudolfensis, do not belong in the genus. The earliest taxon to satisfy the criteria is H*mo ergaster, or early African H*mo erectus, which currently appears in the fossil record at about 1.9 million years ago." "Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record. The randomization of 'distinctness values' was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level.

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