Homo heidelbergensis

Gerrit Hanenburg (ghanenbu@inter.nl.net)
Tue, 8 Aug 1995 21:55:31 GMT

In "The Fossil Trail",Ian Tattersall proposes to assign specimens such as
those from Kabwe,Bodo,Petralona and Arago their own species name:Homo
heidelbergensis.These specimens were formerly known as "archaic Homo
sapiens".Archaic H.sapiens is an informal category and has been something of
a "trashcan" in which to put everything that didn't fit nicely in any other
category.(H.erectus ,H.s.neanderthalensis,H.s.sapiens) He also suggests to
refer to the Neanderthals as H.neanderthalensis and to modern humans as
He justifies this by saying:"...if various groups of fossils are distinct
enough to be identified by name,you can be pretty sure that you have at least
as many species as you have names".(Tattersall,1995)
(refering to such informal names as "Neanderthals","archaic H.sapiens" and
"anatomically modern H.sapiens")
I have a certain sympathy for this "clean up",but I'm not so sure about the
Any other opinions or objections? (on cladistic grounds maybe?)


Reference:Tattersall,I.-The Fossil Trail-, Oxford Univerity Press,1995.