[Taxacom] floresiensis (the "Hobbit" hominids) in the news

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Apr 22 21:26:17 CDT 2017


My first glance at the floresiensis paper was not very encouraging. The
authors begin with the usual model of chimps being the sister group to
hominids followed by gorilla and then orangs even though this is only
solidly supported by molecular data. Ironically, at least one of the
authors (Colin Groves) prioritizes molecular data over morphology even
though this is an entirely morphological study. It will take a while to go
over the characters, but I noticed that the first two were autapomorphies
for the ingroup (and so uninformative so why include in the analysis?) and
for character 9 there were three states, all of which were in the outgroup
and so would be cladistically meaningless for in group analysis (or have I
missed something about cladistic principles?). Maybe this is a phenetic
rather than cladistics study - haven't got to check that yet.

John Grehan

On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 11:35 PM, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Thanks for the alert on floresiensis Ken. Even though I am no longer
> actively looking at such issues as in the past I will take a look at their
> paper. As palo-hominid studies are often more phenetic than cladistic (even
> if dressed up in cladistic language) I won't hope for too much, but it
> would be nice to be surprised.
>
> The latest artists renditions of floresiensis still give them great hair
> cuts (although a bit more work needed on the bangs)
> https://phys.org/news/2017-04-indonesian-hobbits-revealed.html. No doubt
> about it, the first hominid tool belonged to a barber. Spear and the wheel
> obviously came much later :)
>
> John Grehan
>
> On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 7:10 PM, Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi All,
>>
>>       The "hobbit" fossil humans are in the news again.  I haven't seen
>> the new paper, but the author is quoted as saying that it seems to be a
>> sister species of Homo habilis.  I assume that means H. habilis (sensu
>> stricto), which I classify as a subspecies (Homo habilis habilis).  This
>> would not surprise me, because I have argued for years that floresiensis is
>> more primitive than either Homo erectus erectus (in Asia) or even Homo
>> erectus ergaster (in Africa).  Therefore, my 2009 classification (see
>> below) showed floresiensis as a possible sister to Homo erectus georgicus.
>> But I don't know if the new paper even discusses H. e. georgicus.
>>
>>
>>        Anyway, if the "hobbits" are sister to H. habilis habilis, it
>> would actually be slightly more primitive than H. e. georgicus, and would
>> move up in the classification into species Homo habilis (sensu lato).   I
>> would then code them as 2A  H. h. habilis  and then  2B  H. h.
>> floresiensis.  And together they would form the sister group of the clade
>> {{H. erectus + H. sapiens}} (as shown further below).
>>
>> ---------------Ken Kinman
>>
>>
>> 2009 classification ( if garbled, see original posting at
>> http://markmail.org/message/jdauv2vzzuebvbr2 ):
>>
>>
>> 1 Homo habilis%
>>
>> 1 H. h. rudolfensis
>>
>> 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. antecessor
>>
>> B H. s. cepranensis
>>
>> 2 H. s. heidelbergensis
>>
>> _a_ H. s. neanderthalensis
>>
>> 3 H. s. rhodesiensis
>>
>> 4 H. s. idaltu
>>
>> 5 H. s. sapiens
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------
>>
>> 2017??:
>>
>>
>> 1 Homo habilis%
>>
>> 1 H. h. rudolfensis
>>
>> 2A H. h. habilis
>>
>> 2B H. h. floresiensis
>>
>> 3 {{H. erectus + H. sapiens}}
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>>
>>
>> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years, 1987-2017.
>>
>
>


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