Defining the genus Homo

  title={Defining the genus Homo},
  author={Jeffrey H Schwartz and Ian Tattersall},
  pages={931 - 932}
Early hominin species were as diverse as other mammals Almost 300 years ago, Linnaeus defined our genus Homo (and its species Homo sapiens) with the noncommittal words nosce te ipsum (know thyself) (1). Since then, fossil and molecular biology studies have provided insights into its evolution, yet the boundaries of both the species and the genus remain as fuzzy as ever, new fossils having been rather haphazardly assigned to species of Homo, with minimal attention to details of morphology. 

Early Homo and the role of the genus in paleoanthropology.

  • B. Villmoare
  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2018
The history of discovery and debate over early Homo is reviewed, and a taxonomic model is proposed that hews closely to current models for hominin phylogeny and is consistent with taxonomic practice across evolutionary biology.

Species, genera, and phylogenetic structure in the human fossil record: a modest proposal

  • I. Tattersall
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Evolutionary anthropology
  • 2017
The vast majority of fossils composing the large and rapidly expanding paleoanthropological record are crammed into one of two genera (Australopithecus vs Homo), expanding the latter, especially, far beyond any reasonable morphological or phylogenetic limits.

Late Australopiths and the Emergence of Homo

A review of the latest discoveries and research reveals that potential convergent evolution in adaptively significant features in late australopiths and basal members of the Homo clade makes it currently impossible to identify the direct ancestor of Homo erectus.

What constitutes Homo sapiens? Morphology versus received wisdom.

  • J. Schwartz
  • Biology
    Journal of anthropological sciences = Rivista di antropologia : JASS
  • 2016
It is argued that many specimens regarded as AMS, and all those deemed AS, are not H. sapiens, and the features these AMS do share with ES suggest the existence of a sapiens clade.

Conceptual issues in hominin taxonomy: Homo heidelbergensis and an ethnobiological reframing of species.

This research reminds us that across human societies, taxonomies function to identify and classify organisms based on consensus pattern recognition and construct a stable nomenclature for effective storage, retrieval and communication of information.

Evidence for increased hominid diversity in the Early to Middle Pleistocene of Indonesia

Results confirm the presence of Meganthropus as a Pleistocene Indonesian hominid distinct from Pongo, Gigantopithecus and Homo, and reveal that Dubois’s H. erectus paratype molars from 1891 are not hominin (human lineage), but instead are more likely to belong to Meganthrops.

Chimpanzee included in the genus Homo? How biology teachers from three Latin American countries conceive it

It is indicated that the training of biology teachers needs to be analysed in the three countries to understand how teachers-to-be are being trained and evaluate their knowledge regarding molecular biology, phylogeny and evolution.

From Australopithecus to Homo: the transition that wasn't†

A fresh look at brain size, hand morphology and earliest technology suggests that a number of key Homo attributes may already be present in generalized species of Australopithecus, and that adaptive distinctions in Homo are simply amplifications or extensions of ancient hominin trends.

Variation among the Dmanisi hominins: Multiple taxa or one species?

It is likely that the Dmanisi hominins represent a single paleospecies of Homo displaying a pattern of sex dimorphism not seen in living hominids.



The human genus.

A revised definition is presented, based on verifiable criteria, for Homo and it is concluded that two species, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, do not belong in the genus.

Reconstructed Homo habilis type OH 7 suggests deep-rooted species diversity in early Homo

A virtual reconstruction of the OH 7 mandible is presented, finding that this shape variability is not consistent with a single species of early Homo, and raising questions about the H. habilis hypodigm.

Evolution of early Homo: An integrated biological perspective

New environmental data sets suggest that Homo evolved against a background of long periods of habitat unpredictability that were superimposed on the underlying aridity trend and thereby yield a deeper understanding of human evolution.

A New Species of The Genus Homo From Olduvai Gorge

The new material found in 1963 makes it possible to draw conclusions and to give a diagnosis for a new species of the genus Homo, as shown in this article.

Taxonomic categories in fossil hominids.

  • E. Mayr
  • Geography
    Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology
  • 1950

The genera and species of the Australopithecinae.

  • J. Robinson
  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1954