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Evidence for increased hominid diversity in the Early to Middle Pleistocene of Indonesia

Zanolli, Clément, Kullmer, Ottmar, Kelley, Jay, Bacon, Anne-Marie, Demeter, Fabrice, Dumoncel, Jean, Fiorenza, Luca, Grine, Fred E., Hublin, Jean-Jacques, Tuan, Nguyen, and others. (2019) Evidence for increased hominid diversity in the Early to Middle Pleistocene of Indonesia. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 3 (5). pp. 755-764. ISSN 2397-334X. (doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0860-z) (KAR id:72814)

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Since the first discovery of Pithecanthropus (Homo) erectus by E. Dubois at Trinil in 1891, over 200 hominid dentognathic remains have been collected from the Early to Middle Pleistocene deposits of Java, Indonesia, forming the largest palaeoanthropological collection in South East Asia. Most of these fossils are currently attributed to H. erectus. However, because of the substantial morphological and metric variation in the Indonesian assemblage, some robust specimens, such as the partial mandibles Sangiran 5 and Sangiran 6a, were formerly variably allocated to other taxa (Meganthropus palaeojavanicus, Pithecanthropus dubius, Pongo sp.). To resolve the taxonomic uncertainty surrounding these and other contentious Indonesian hominid specimens, we used occlusal fingerprint analysis (OFA) to reconstruct their chewing kinematics; we also used various morphometric approaches based on microtomography to examine the internal dental structures. Our results confirm the presence of Meganthropus as a Pleistocene Indonesian hominid distinct from Pongo, Gigantopithecus and Homo, and further reveal that Dubois’s H. erectus paratype molars from 1891 are not hominin (human lineage), but instead are more likely to belong to Meganthropus.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41559-019-0860-z
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Matthew Skinner
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 09:55 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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