Re: Missing Link (was Human Chimp Gorilla)

Mike Muller (
Wed, 10 Jul 1996 14:19:57 -0400

> There is a great variety of australopithecines and the question today
> is, which one of these is "the missing link", because instead of a
> missing link there are several possibilities. There were Australopithe
> cus aethiopicus, afarensis (Lucy, 3.2 million years old, is one of
> these), africanus, bahrelghazeli (the only one found west from the
> Great Rift Valley so far), boisei, ramidus and robustus, in alphabethi
> cal order. And it is pretty certain that there still are some to be
> found and some that never will be.
> The robust asutraloptihecines are not in our evolutionary lineage
directly...they comprise sister taxa.

> Homo habilis was followed by Homo erectus very soon, already about 2
> million years ago. Homo erectus was very successful. It was the first
> Homo, who went out of Africa, to Europe and Asia. Some 300,000 years
> ago Homo erectus developed into archaic Homo sapiens and possibly lived
> some time with it. 200,000 years ago Homo erectus was gone, and in
> Europe was emerging the Neandertals. Whether they were the descendants
> of archaic Homo sapiens, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis or Homo erectus,
> Homo erectus neandertalensis, or may be better Homo neanderthalensis,
> we don't know for sure, but Homo sapiens neanderthalensis is today
> generally accepted (which does not mean the last word in this issue).

Homo erectus, as defined by the holotype, only exsisted in Asia. The
African material has been lumped into the erectus group. But there are
MANY morphological differences show it to be quite different. And the
most recent redating of the Asian material provide dates at 1.8-1.9 mya
these are the same as the dates on the African material. Therefore the
Asian material had to have left Africa prior to this in order to have
developed such a different suite of characters.
New finds in China have uncovered teeth and tools that are akin
the H. habilis in morphology and technology. It would make sense that
when H. habilis left Africa they took their pebble tools with them. This
would also account for the lack of Acheulean tools past the Movius line.
Not the argument that they couldn't find material to make them...duh!
I am currently writing an article for the "ORIGINS" site on Homo
ergaster the African material currently being assigned to erectus.