Re: Time Frame: Early Hominids

Phil Nicholls (
30 Apr 1995 06:00:56 GMT

In article <3npoc8$>,
Patricia Lynn Sothman <> wrote:

>As far as habilis is concerned. The ONLY specimen which has unquestioned
>association between cranial and post-cranial fragments is OH 62 (there
>are questions about the type specimen, OH 7, and the paratypes originally
>ascribed to habilis, e-mail if you want references) found by Johanson's
>team in 1986, published in Nature in 1987 (327: 205-209). This specimen
>has been basically ignored by most paleanths because of its basic
>weirdness. It dates to 1.7 my, craniodentally been assigned to habilis,
>but postcranially demonstrates very ape-like morphology, especially in
>the relative limb proportions. When comparing the forelimb and hindlimb
>in a index, this specimen falls outside the range of modern humans, well
>above any australopithecine. Basically OH 62 had arms almost as long as
>its legs. So Berger's contention about phylogeny that habilis, or Homo,
>originated from something more ape-like in locomotor patterning is not
>necessarily unusual given the morphology of the only known habilis
>Patricia L. Sothman | "a beautiful theory, killed by a
>Dept. Anthropology | nasty, ugly little fact"
>WASH U, St. Louis |
> | -Thomas Henry Huxley

In Johanson's "science-by-showbiz" NOVA special he does not discuss
OH-62 at all. Didn't discuss the Hadar family either.

If I remember correctly, aren't the cranial fragments of OH-62
mostly lower jaw? Isn't the diagnosis of Homo habilis based on
the metric comparison of the relative size of the molars? (I might
be wrong, it's been awhile since I read the descriptions).

Phil Nicholls "To ask a question you must first
Department of Anthropology know most of the answer."
SUNY Albany -Robert Sheckley SEMPER ALLOUATTA