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Thread: 3D Morphometric Study of the Mandibular Fossa and Its Implication for Species Recognition in Homo Erectus

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    3D Morphometric Study of the Mandibular Fossa and Its Implication for Species Recognition in Homo Erectus

    Are the hobbits of Flores related to Homo heidelbergensis?

    http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperIn...?PaperID=58691

    The problem of species recognition in paleoanthropology has been the subject of numerous studies. In the current study, we have used the complex topography of the mandibular fossa to assess its potential as a species-specific indicator. Six landmarks were registered using a microscribe 3Dx digitizer on four extant species: Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, and two ethnical groups of modern humans. Using principal component analysis (PC), the results statistically separated between the species and within the two Homo groups. The same method was applied to a sample of 13 casts of Pleistocene hominids from Asia, Europe and Africa. The first PC separated Asian Homo erectus from African Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis. The second PC separated African Homo erectus from Homo heidelbergensis. Interestingly Homo floresiensis groups with Homo heidelbergensis. Adding recent human sample to the analysis showed them to fall within the African Homo erectus group. Cluster analysis on the superimposed fossil data had turned the same results. These results favor the view that Homo erectus is actually made from at least two distinct species. Homo floresiensis is not a form of pathologic sapiens, and Homo sapiens has descendent solely from early African-like species.

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    Mandibular fossa: http://www.knowyourbody.net/mandibular-fossa.html
    if you are unfamiliar with this.

    Really, I had no idea humans and apes were so variable at this spot. We cannot see the entire article which is unfortunate. So, it says H. erectus are actually two species and we moderns group with African H. erectus. What this means to me is that we moderns are mostly African sapiens and African sapiens is really just a slightly encephalized and smoothed out erectus.

    I wonder what these authors are calling heidelbergensis in their study. The odd thing is it (whatever it is) groups with floresiensis.

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Mandibular fossa: http://www.knowyourbody.net/mandibular-fossa.html
    if you are unfamiliar with this.

    Really, I had no idea humans and apes were so variable at this spot. We cannot see the entire article which is unfortunate. So, it says H. erectus are actually two species and we moderns group with African H. erectus. What this means to me is that we moderns are mostly African sapiens and African sapiens is really just a slightly encephalized and smoothed out erectus.

    I wonder what these authors are calling heidelbergensis in their study. The odd thing is it (whatever it is) groups with floresiensis.
    The paper is open access if you have a pdf viewer.

    The African erectus would naturally be Homo ergaster and should be referred to as such.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    The paper is open access if you have a pdf viewer.

    The African erectus would naturally be Homo ergaster and should be referred to as such.
    Sorry no pdf.

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    Fortunately its in HTML as well.

    http://file.scirp.org/Html/3-1590488_58691.htm


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    I really like this paper a great deal. It shows a couple of interesting things, maybe three.

    First, genius can be determined using autapomorphic characters.
    Second, groups within a genius, species, can be determined with autapormorphic characters.
    Third, modern African sapiens are descended from Homo ergaster.
    Fourth, only three groupings exist for Homo, ergaster, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo erectus (Asian erectus).
    Fifth, identifying autapomorphic characters is a form of typology and so typology is back.

    Autapomorphic identification has been around since at least 1978 when some researchers noticed these non-metric traits could be used to distinguish between sapiens and Neanderthals. Most of these were at the rear of the skull as we discussed for Gardar. The big exception was the retromolar space. Since then other non-metric traits have been added for the sapiens-Neanderthal difference but this is the first time autapomorphic traits have been used for non-humans or to determine status of earlier fossils.

    Of course the underlying implication is that morphology implies genetics but it does revive bone anthropology. Since looking at these things is not especially hard nor does it involve a degree in genetics, these methods are more available to us all and we can all look at these things and understand them. They also simplify and clarify relationships.

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    Another thing, they did not include Neanderthals proper in this study. Apparently they think Homo heidelbergensis, which most people think existed before Neanderthals, groups with Neanderthals. If this is true then there is only a H. heidelbergensis taxon and Neanderthals are part of it.

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