[Taxacom] Australopithecus sediba (sister to Homo?)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Mon Apr 12 21:01:09 CDT 2010

Dear All,              
       Well, we now have a new species, Australopithecus sediba, to
consider in the ancestry of our genus Homo.  Although it seems likely
that it is closer to Homo than is the older Australopithecus afarensis,
is it actually  closer than A. africanus or A. garhi?  The question of
homoplasy (to which this species may well add even more evidence)
ironically means that it may not be the Australopithecus species that is
the closest sister species to genus Homo.              
       And yet its age and combination of characteristics makes it very
interesting whether it could actually turn out to be the closest known
sister species to genus Homo (or alternately a somewhat Homo-like
deadend that only appears to be its sister).   Not surprisingly there is
skepticism being expressed that some of its Homo-like characteristics
are perhaps convergent. At this point I am unsure.  However, below I am
interjecting it close to Australopithecus africanus (in my
classification of April 2009).  Whether it will supplant A. garhi as the
putative sister species remains to be seen.  In any case, it is a great
find with an usual amount of material that will help clarify the
phylogeny of Australopithecus and its relationship with daughter genus
        ---------Ken Kinman               
 Family Hominidae                                     
      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}}                

   _a_ Homo               
             1 Homo habilis%
                   1 H. h.
                   2 H. h. habilis
                   3 {{H. erectus +
H. sapiens}}       
            _a_ Homo erectus%
                   1 H. e. georgicus
                   ? H. e.
floresiensis ("hobbit")
                   2 H. e. ergaster
                   3 H. e. erectus
                 _a_ {{Homo sapiens}} 

           _a_ Homo sapiens
                    1 H. s.
                    B H. s.
                    2 H. s.
                 _a_ H. s.
                    3 H. s.
                    4 H. s. idaltu
                    5 H. s. sapiens                               

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