[Taxacom] My revised classification of genus Homo (especially H. naledi)

Kenneth Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 1 08:20:06 CDT 2019


Hi Mikhail,
           When it comes to fossil taxa, one has to not only consider geographic isolation, but also the added complication of separation in time.  And even among contemporary populations of living species and subspecies, strict allopatry can break down.  This is especially evident in those cases in which a circle of subspecies (in a "ring species") is involved, and which demonstrates how nebulous the species concept can sometimes be.
                            --------------Ken
P.S.     When it comes to hominids (and genus Homo in particular), the perceived importance and prestige of discovering and naming a species versus a subspecies is very exaggerated.  The media and biologists are too often swayed by that perceived importance (and its monetary rewards) of species over subspecies, and its is very evident when it comes to genus Homo and other hominids.  Attracting the attention of funding agencies and the media can be pretty intense, and if splitters get rewarded, you are going to get more splitters.   It's sad, but pretty evident that in many cases, money and media can influence what criteria tend to be used when it comes to species vs. subspecies.   Unfortunately the fact that excessive splitting makes classifications (especially for hominids) more confusing and unstable is therefore too often ignored.

________________________________
From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of Mikhail Daneliya via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2019 11:37 PM
To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] My revised classification of genus Homo (especially H. naledi)

Dear Kenneth,
I wonder what criteria to delimit between species and subspecies are
applied in hominids? And whether the concept of subspecies as an allopatric
geographic race has been followed.

Mikhail Daneliya

On Mon, 1 Jul 2019, 01:56 Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom, <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> Dear All,
>        I have removed H. s. cepranensis as a subspecies, and it is now
> listed as a synonym of H. s. heidelbergensis.  This is based on a 2017
> research paper in Nature (
> https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14437-2).
>        More importantly, I have finally decided where to temporarily place
> Homo naledi (named in 2015).  I obviously do not believe that it merits
> full species status, and was even a bit tempted to place it as a synonym of
> either Homo erectus georgicus or of Homo erectus ergaster.
>      However, the 2017 discovery that it was so unexpectedly young
> (roughly 250,000 years old), and yet has some very primitive features
> (mixed with some advanced features), would make it unwise to synonymize at
> this time.  From the original paper:  "This species combines a humanlike
> body size and stature with an australopith-sized brain; features of the
> shoulder and hand apparently well-suited for climbing with humanlike hand
> and wrist adaptations for manipulation; australopith-like hip mechanics
> with humanlike terrestrial adaptations of the foot and lower limb; small
> dentition with primitive dental proportions."
>        Therefore, I am (at least temporarily) placing naledi as a
> subspecies between H. e. georgicus and H. e. ergaster.   Unless its
> primitive features display a very unusual mixture of reversals, Homo
> erectus naledi probably has a fairly lengthy unknown lineage that would
> take it back to the time of georgicus and ergaster.   I suppose some might
> even argue that it might even belong in Homo habilis.  Should be
> interesting to see what additional material might show, especially if such
> material dates to a much earlier time.  It could shake things up even more
> than it has already.
>                          -------------Ken Kinman
>
>
> 1  Homo habilis%
>
>                1   H. h. rudolfensis
>
>               2A   H. h. habilis
>
>               2B   H. h. floresiensis ("hobbit")
>
>                3   {{H. erectus + H. sapiens}} (exgroup marker)
>
>
>
>   _a_ Homo erectus%
>
>                1  H. e. georgicus
>
>               ?  H. e. naledi
>
>                2  H. e. ergaster
>
>                3  H. e. erectus%
>
>              _a_  {{Homo sapiens}}  (exgroup marker)
>
>
>
>    _a_ Homo sapiens
>
>                 1  H. s. antecessor
>
>                 2  H. s. heidelbergensis% (incl. cepranensis)
>
>               _a_  H. s. neanderthalensis
>
>                 3  H. s. rhodesiensis
>
>                 4  H. s. idaltu
>
>                 5  H. s. sapiens
>
> ________________________________
> From: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:57 PM
> To: taxacom
> Subject: classification of archaic humans of Eurasia
>
> Dear All,
>            A new paper ("Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestors interbred with a
> distantly-related hominin") shows even more interbreeding of Neanderthals,
> Denisovans, and other archaic humans in Eurasia (long before modern humans
> spread into Eurasia).  I assume the scientific name for the "superarchaic"
> populations would be Homo sapiens heidelbergensis, and that Homo sapiens
> neanderthalensis (including Denisovans) is a late (and better known)
> offshoot of the superarchaics in general.
>             Therefore, I continue to use the following classification,
> with a paraphyletic (%) H. s. heidenbergensis giving rise to H. s.
> neanderthalensis:
>
>   1  Homo habilis%
>
>                1   H. h. rudolfensis
>
>               2A   H. h. habilis
>
>               2B   H. h. floresiensis ("hobbit")
>
>                3   {{H. erectus + H. sapiens}} (exgroup marker)
>
>
>
>   _a_ Homo erectus%
>
>                1  H. e. georgicus
>
>                2  H. e. ergaster
>
>                3  H. e. erectus
>
>              _a_  {{Homo sapiens}}  (exgroup marker)
>
>
>
>    _a_ Homo sapiens
>
>                1A  H. s. antecessor
>
>                1B  H. s. cepranensis
>
>                 2  H. s. heidelbergensis%
>
>               _a_  H. s. neanderthalensis
>
>                 3  H. s. rhodesiensis
>
>                 4  H. s. idaltu
>
>                 5  H. s. sapiens
>
>
> Weblink to the new paper:
> https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/657247v1
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
>
> Send Taxacom mailing list submissions to: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> For list information; to subscribe or unsubscribe, visit:
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> You can reach the person managing the list at:
> taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> The Taxacom email archive back to 1992 can be searched at:
> http://taxacom.markmail.org
>
> Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for 32 some years, 1987-2019.
>
_______________________________________________
Taxacom Mailing List

Send Taxacom mailing list submissions to: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
For list information; to subscribe or unsubscribe, visit: http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
You can reach the person managing the list at: taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
The Taxacom email archive back to 1992 can be searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org

Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for 32 some years, 1987-2019.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list