Type of Homo sapiens

Fri Jan 5 15:07:13 CST 1996

ICZN Article 74b states "When it cannot be determined that a
nominal species-group taxon was established on a single specimen,
and when a holotype was not designated, the first author to have
published the inference (see Article 73a(ii)) that one original
specimen is the "holotype", or "the type", is deemed, should
another syntype or syntypes be discovered, to have designated a
lectotype (see Article 72b (vii) and Recommendation 73F)...."

Stearns (1959) clearly inferred that Linnaeus was "the type" of
^Homo sapiens^.  In zoology, the mere statement in a plate
caption by a subsequent author that a particular specimen is "the
type" is sufficient to designate a lectotype (assuming the
specimen was part of the original material).  I believe that the
proposed 4th edition of the ICZN makes requirements for lectotype
designation stricter, but it does not overturn designations made
under previous editions.  So, although many other specimens could
have been designated lectotype of ^Homo sapiens^, perhaps even
with better justification, we must accept Stearn's designation of
Linnaeus.  Unless, of course, someone turns up an earlier

Gary Rosenberg
rosenberg at say.acnatsci.org

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