Re: Homo heidelbergensis

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Mon, 14 Aug 1995 22:04:31 GMT (Joerg Rhiemeier) wrote:

>There is no unmistakable evidence for anatomically modern H. sapiens and
>Neanderthals to have cross-bred.

So the subspecies status of Neanderthals and modern humans has little or no
meaning and we might as well consider them both to be full species.I think
the subspecies category is of little use in paleoanthropology but is only
usefull in distinguishing between geographical varieties of extant species
(such as the three gorilla subs.).The fossil record will probably never give
us the kind of resolution that makes it possible to determine subspecies
status.It should be noted that in general subspecies of extant species do not
differ anatomically enough to be recognizable on the basis of the parts that
are preserved in the fossil record.Neanderthals differ significantly from
modern humans in those parts,especially the cranium.

>But if we put modern H. sapiens and Neanderthals into different
>species, we can no longer lump the `archaic H. sapiens' into H.
>sapiens, but have to consider them to be another species.

Homo heidelbergensis.(with the Mauer mandible being the type specimen)
And then we also have:
Homo sapiens.(type:Cro-Magnon1?)
Homo neanderthalensis.(type:specimen from the Feldhover Cave/Neander Valley?)