Ceprano man disappears
|May 8, 2011||Posted by News under Human evolution|
Turns up as Heidelberg man. At MSNBC, Jennifer Viegas reports that (5/4/2011) “Heidelberg Man links humans, Neanderthals:
Study of 400,000-year-old fossil may shed light on what species looked like”:
The determination is based on the remains of a single Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis) known as “Ceprano,” named after the town near Rome, Italy, where his fossil — a partial cranium — was found.Previously, this 400,000-year-old fossil was thought to represent a new species of human, Homo cepranensis. The latest study, however, identifies Ceprano as being an archaic member of Homo heidelbergensis.
Down one species then.
The finding may shed light on what the species that gave rise to both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens looked like.
Caution, more tangles:
Ian Tattersall, curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, told Discovery News that he agrees Ceprano has been “appropriately assigned to the cosmopolitan species Homo heidelbergensis. But in Europe this species is contemporaneous with the lineage leading to Homo neanderthalensis.”
Some complain that it’s a bit like trying to explain the plot of a soap opera to which the “Guide to the Episodes” has been misplaced: Here, for example, at Dieneke’s Anthroplogy Blog:
The type specimen of Homo heidelbergensis is the Mauer mandible. There is considerable controversy about the validity of this taxon, with some “stretching” it to include many different fossils from Europe, Asia, and Africa, while others limiting it to the pre-Neandertal population of Europe. There are also those who want to get rid of H. h altogether. (More on Ceprano follows.)
Shriek from the other sofa: If I hafta watch this show with you, to keep you happy, all I wanna know is, who is she supposed to be with in this episode, and who is she actually with? Next episode, it’ll all be different of course. A lot depends on who’s writing the episode …