Early Homo

How Many Species?
  • Bernard Wood
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


The problem of deciding when phenotypic variation exceeds that which can be tolerated within a single species is a familiar one to both paleontologists in general (Mayr et al., 1953; Sylvester-Bradley, 1956; Simpson, 1961) and to pal-eoanthropologists in particular (e.g., Weidenreich, 1946; Campbell, 1962; Zwell and Pilbeam, 1972; Wolpoff, 1978; Pilbeam, 1978). Some authors have regarded these taxonomic difficulties as intrinsic to the practice of equating fossil with neontological species and have proposed that any resolution lies in the direction of redefining the fossil species concept. For example, Cain (1954) and George (1956) used the terms paleospeaes and chronospeaes, respectively, to refer to the whole (George, 1956), or part (Pilbeam, 1972), of an evolutionary lineage. These devices thus incorporate the element of time within the definition of a paleon-tological species.


Early Hominid Cranial Capacity Time Band Early Homo Enamel Thickness 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Hominid Palaeontology Research Group, Department of Human Anatomy and Cell BiologyUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolEngland

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