Re: new hominid species?

J.E.Hawcroft (
2 Nov 1995 15:28:20 GMT

As far as I'm aware, Ardipithecus was first described when ramidus was
put into that genus - ie there are no other members of the genus yet.
Australopithecus on the other hand has many members. Starting from the
furthest back in time, they are: Australopithecus anamensis (only
described this year); A. afarensis (which may be two species rather than
one, time will tell); A. africanus; A. robustus; A. boisei. The
robust/boisei group are sometimes called Paranthropus rather than
Australopithecus, but they're talking about the same fossils. Lots of the
South African material have funny original names as well, such as
Plesianthropus transvaalensis and so on, but these are generally included
in either A. africanus or A. robustus.
The good thing about australopithecines is that they're so weird and so
poorly known that anything can happen. I personally reckon its only a
matter of time before OH62, that funny-looking H. habilis, and her ilk
are re-assigned to Australopithecus.
Cheers, Jennie