Re: Hominid Family Tree

Alex Duncan (
15 Oct 1995 01:59:22 GMT

In article <45p4qs$> chris brochu, writes:

>Has anyone actually taken the relevant specimens and/or taxa of hominids
>and run a matrix with PAUP? I see much discussion on the relationships
>of various hominids to each other, and it all (surficially, at least)
>makes sense, but has this been tested phylogenetically?

I've tried to run this stuff through PAUP. My problem is that I don't
trust most of the traits available in the literature, and don't know
enough about dental anatomy. For example, in the description of A.
anamensis, we see such traits as "mesiobuccally expanded trigonids" --
well, compared to what? Has this been quantified in any way? etc. etc.

Similarly, some traits are well known for some taxa, but have never been
examined in others, or are assumed based on what we already "know" to be
present or absent in other taxa.

In other words, a hardcore cladistic analysis of hominoids needs doing.
You might check out H. Erwin's database. He's put a lot of work into it.

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086