[Taxacom] Sahelanthropus NOT a hominid

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 19 20:52:18 CDT 2006

Dear All,
     A very convincing challenge to the hominid status of Sahelanthropus has 
recently been published.  This based on a more comprehensive comparison with 
other Miocene apes, and in particular the canine morphology and the base of 
the skull.  The latter is the basis for declaring Sahelanthropus bipedal and 
has been disputed ever since it was first put forward (and even more 
strongly disputed in this latest paper).

     Unfortunately, this still does not settle the precise placement of 
Sahelanthropus in Family Pongidae, but I am increasingly tempted to slide 
this genus down a couple of clades so that it branches off below both 
Gorilla and Pan.  Such a placement would make much more sense 
chronologically (not to mention morphologically) and is geographically just 
as likely.  However, I am certainly not ruling out having it branch off 
between Gorilla and Pan, or even as a proto-gorilla within the Gorilla clade 
itself.  Anyway, here a link to a discussion by one of the authors, which 
contains a link leading to a PDF of the recently-published paper:


           Ken Kinman

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