Human Evolution

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 241–252

An investigation into the usefulness of a cladistic approach to the study of the origin of anatomically modern humans

  • P. J. Habgood
Article

Abstract

Cladistic analyses for the study of hominid evolution become very common during the last two decades, but little attention has been given to the appropriateness of the approach to studies being undertaken. This paper discusses how cladistic analyses have been used in studies of late Middle and Upper Pleicostocene hominids without due consideration of the problems inherent within the approach. It is concluded that in studies of the origin of anatomicaly modern humans a strict cladistic approach is inappropriate because it takes too narrow a view (presence/absence) of morphology, and in doing so does not allow for morphological variation. A phenetic approach which is interested in overall morphological similarity based on many characters and attempts to sample the total morphological variability evident within a sample would seem a more appropriate approach in such studies.

Key words

cladistic approach phenetic approach Homo erectus Neanderthals Australian Aborigines morphological variation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andrews P., 1984a.An alternative interpretation of the characters used to define Homo erectus. Courier Forschungs institut Senckenberg, 69: 167–175.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews P., 1984b.The Descent of Man. New Scientists, 102: 24–25.Google Scholar
  3. Asfaw B., 1983.A new hominid parietal from Bodo, Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 61: 367–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashlock P. D., 1971.Monophyly and associated terms. Systematic Zoology, 16: 63–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashlock P. D., 1972.Monophyly again. Systematic Zoology, 21: 430–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ashlock P. D., 1974.The uses of cladistics. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 5: 81–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bilsborough A. &Wood, B. A. 1986.The nature, origin and fate of Homo erectus. In B. Wood, L. Martin and P. Andrews (eds.) Major Topics in Primate and Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 295–316.Google Scholar
  8. Blumberg J. E., Hylander W. L. &Goepp R. A. 1971.Taurodontisms: a biometric study. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 34: 243–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brace C. L., 1981.Tales of the phylogenetic woods: the evolution and significance of evolutionary trees. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 56: 411–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown F., Harris J., Leakey R. &Walker A., 1985.Early Homo erectus skeleton from west Lake Turkana, Kenya. Nature, 416: 788–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chamberlain, A. T. &Wood B. A., 1987.Early hominid phylogeny. Journal of Human Evolution, 16: 1119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Charig A., 1981.Cladistics: a different point of view. Biologist, 28: 19–20.Google Scholar
  13. Clarke R. J., 1976.New cranium of Homo erectus from Lake Ndutu, Tanzania, Nature, 262: 485–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coon C. S., 1962.The Origin of Races. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  15. Cracraft J., 1981.Pattern and process in palaeobiology: the role of cladistic analysis in systematic paleontology. Paleaeobiology, 7: 456–468.Google Scholar
  16. Darlington P. J., Jr. 1970.A practical criticism of Hennig-Brundin «phylogenetic systematics» and Antartic biogeneography. Systematic Zoology, 19: 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Day M. H., 1971.Postcranial remains of Homo erectus from Bed IV, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Nature, 232: 383–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Day M. H., 1982.The Homo erectus pelvis: punctuation or gradualism? Prétirage, Premier Congres International de Paléontologie Humaine, Nice. Nice: C.N.R.S., pp. 814–846.Google Scholar
  19. Day M. H., 1984.The postcranial remains of Homo erectus from Africa, Asia and possibly Europe. Courier Forschungs institut Senckenberg, 69: 113–121.Google Scholar
  20. Day, M. H. & Stringer C. B. A reconstruction of the Omo Kibish remains and the erectus-sapiens transition. Préirage, Premier Congres International de Paléontologie Humaine. Nice. Nice: C.N.R.S., pp. 814–846.Google Scholar
  21. Delson E., 1978.Models of early hominid phylogeny. In C. Jolly (ed.) Eary Hominids of Africa. London: Duckworth, pp. 519–541.Google Scholar
  22. Delson E., Eldredge N. &Tattersall I., 1977.Reconstruction of hominid phylogeny: a testable framework based on cladistic analysis. Journal of Human Evolution, 6: 263–268.Google Scholar
  23. Eldredge N. &Cracaft J., 1980.Phylogenetic Patterns and the Evolutionary Process. Method and Theory in Comparative Biology. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Eldredge N. &Tattersall I., 1975.Evolutionary models, phylogenetic reconstruction and another look at hominid phylogeny. In F. S. Szalay (ed.) Approaches to Primate Paleobiology. Basel: Karger, pp. 218–242.Google Scholar
  25. Eldredge N. &Tattersall I., 1982.The Myths of Human Evolution. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Felsenstein J., 1978.Cases in which parsimony and compatibility methods will be positively misleading. Systematic Zoology, 27: 401–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gardiner B. G., Janvier P., Patterson C., Forey P. L., Greenwood P. H., Miles R. S. &Jefferies R. P. S., 1979.The Salmon, the lungfish and the cow: a reply Nature, 277: 175–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gingerich P. D., 1979.The stratophenetic approach to phylogeny reconstruction in vertebrate palaentology. In J. Craycraft and J. Eldredge (eds.) Phylogenetic Analysis and Paleontology. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 41–77.Google Scholar
  29. Grimaud D., 1982.Le parietal de l’Homme de Tautavel. Prétirage, Premier Congres International de Paléontologie Humaine, Nice. Nice: C.N.R.S., pp. 62–88.Google Scholar
  30. Groves C. P. (in press).A regional approach to the problem of the origin of modern humans in Australasia. In P. Mellars and C. B. Stringer (eds.) The Origin and Dispersal of Modern Humans: Behavioural and Biological Perspectives.Google Scholar
  31. Habgood P. J., in prep.A morphometric Investigation into the Origin of Anatomically Modern Humans. British Archaeological Reports.Google Scholar
  32. Halstead L. B., 1978.The cladistic revolution-can it make the grade? Nature, 276: 759–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Halstead, L. B., White E. I. &MacIntyre G. T., 1979.Reply to B. G. Gardiner et al.. Nature, 277: 176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Harper C. W. &Platnick N. I., 1978.Phylogenetic and cladistic hypotheses: a debate. Systematic Zoology, 27: 354–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hennig W., 1966.Phylogenetic Systematics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  36. Holmes E. B., 1980.Reconsideration of some systematic concepts and terms. Evolutionary Theory, 5: 35–87.Google Scholar
  37. Howell F. C., 1978.Homindae. In V. J. Maglio and H. B. S. Cooke (eds.) Evolution of African Mammals. Cambridge (Mass): Harvard University Press, pp. 154–248.Google Scholar
  38. Hublin J. J., 1986.Some comments on the diagnostic features of Homo erectus. Anthropos (Brno), 23: 175–185.Google Scholar
  39. Jacob T., 1966.The sixth skull cap of Pithecanthropus erectus. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 25: 243–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kallay J., 1963.A radiographic study of the Neanderthal teeth from Krapina, Croatia. In D. R. Brothwell (ed.) Dental Anthropology. London: Pergamon Press, pp. 75–86.Google Scholar
  41. Kallay J., 1970.Peculiarities of Krapina Neanderthal teeth. In M. Males (ed.) Krapina 1899–1969. Zagreb: Jugoslavenska akademije znanosti i umjetnosti, pp. 175–176.Google Scholar
  42. Kennedy G. E., 1983.Some aspects of femoral morphology in Homo erectus. Journal of Human Evolution, 12: 587–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kennedy G. E., 1984a.The emergence of Homo sapiens: the post cranial evidence. Man, 19: 94–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kennedy G. E., 1984b.Are the Know Swamp hominids «archaic»? American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 65: 163–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Laitman J. T., Heimbuck R. C. &Crenlin E. S., 1979.The basicranium of fossil hominids as an indicator of their upper respiratory system. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 51: 15–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Larnach S. L. & Macintosh N. W. G., 1966.The Craniology of the Aborigenes of Coastal New South Wales. Oceania Monographs No. 13.Google Scholar
  47. Larnach S. L. & Macintosh N. W. G., 1970.The Craniology of the Aborigenes of Queensland. Oceania Monographs No. 15.Google Scholar
  48. Larnach S. L. &Macintosh N. W. G., 1974.A comparative study of Solo and Australian Aboriginal crania. In A. P. Elkin and N. W. G. Macintosh (eds.) Grafton Elliot Smith: The Man and his Work. Sydney: Sydney University Press, pp. 95–102.Google Scholar
  49. Leakey R. E. F. &Walker A. C., 1985.Further hominids from the Plio-Pliestocene of Koobi Fora, Kenya. American Journal of Physical Anthropoogy, 67: 135–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Le Gros Clark W. E., 1964.The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (2nd revised edition). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  51. Lumley M.-A. &Sonakia A., 1985.Premiere decouverte d’un Homo erectus sur le continent Indien a Hatnora, dans la Moyenne Vallée de la Narmada. L’Anthropologie, 89: 13–61.Google Scholar
  52. Mallegni F., Mariani-Costantini R., Fornaciari G., Longo E. T., Giacobini G. &Radmilli A. M., 1983.New European fossil hominid material from an Acheulian site near Rome (Castel di Guido). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 62: 263–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mayr E., 1965a.Numerical phenetics and taxonomic theory. Systematic Zoology, 14: 73–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mayr E., 1965b.Classification and phylogeny American Zoology, 5: 165–174.Google Scholar
  55. Mayr E., 1969.Principles of Systematic Zoology. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  56. Pancher A. L., 1979.The cladistic debate continued. Nature, 280: 542.Google Scholar
  57. Pardoe C., (in press).The inferior petrosal sinus, a non-metric trait restricted to Oceania. Canadian Review of Physical Anthropology.Google Scholar
  58. Pichardo M., 1978.Phenetic vs. cladistic systematics: a response to Thoma. Journal of Human Evolution, 7: 151–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pilbeam D., 1986.The origin of Homo sapiens: the fossil evidence. In B. Wood, L. Martin and P. Andrews (eds.) Major Topics in Primate and Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 331–338.Google Scholar
  60. Riesenfield A., 1956.Shovel-shaped incisors and a few other dental features among native peoples of the Pacific. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 14: 505–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Richtmire G. P., 1980.Homo erectus and human evolution in the African Middle Pleistocene. In L-K. Konigsson (ed.) Current Argument on Early Man. Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 70–85.Google Scholar
  62. Rightmire G. P., 1983.The Lake Ndutu cranium and early Homo sapiens in Africa. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 61: 245–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rightmire G. P., 1984.Comparisons of Homo erectus from Africa and Southeast Asia. Courier Forschungs institut Senckenberg, 69: 83–98.Google Scholar
  64. Santa Luca A. P., 1980The Ngandong Fossil Hominids: A Comparative Study of a Far Eastern Homo erectus Group. Yale University Publications in Anthropology, No. 78.Google Scholar
  65. Skelton R. R., McHenry H. M. &Drawhorn G. M., 1986.Phylogenetic analysis of early hominids. Current Anthropology, 27: 21–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stringer C. B., 1985.The definition of Homo erectus and the existence of the species in Africa and Europe. Courier Forschungs institut Senckenberg, 69: 131–144.Google Scholar
  67. Stringer C. B., 1985.Middle Pleistocene hominid variability and the origin of late Pleistocene humans. In E. Delson (ed.) Ancestors: The Hard Evidence. New York: Alan R. Liss, pp. 289–295.Google Scholar
  68. Stringer C. B., 1987.A numerical cladistic analysis for the genus Homo. Journal of Human Evolution, 16: 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Stringer C. B., Howell F. C. &Melentis J. K., 1979.The significance of the fossil hominid skull from Petralona, Greece. Journal of Archaeological Science, 6: 235–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Stringer C. B., Hublin J. J. &Vandermeersch B., 1984.The origin of anatomically modern humans in Western Europe. In F. H. Smith and F. Spencer (eds.) The Origin of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence. New York: Alan R. Liss, pp. 51–135.Google Scholar
  71. Szalay F. S., 1987.Ancetors, descendents sister groups and testing of phylogenetic hypotheses. Systematic Zoology 26: 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Tattersall I. &Eldredge N., 1977.Fact, Theory, and Fantasy in Human Paleontology. American Scientists, 65: 204–211.Google Scholar
  73. Trinkaus E., 1983.The Shanidar Neanderthals, New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  74. Valen L. M. van, 1978.Why not be a cladist? Evolutionary Theory, 3: 285–299.Google Scholar
  75. Vrba E. S., 1980.Evolution, species and fossils: how does life evolve? South African Journal of Science, 76: 61–84.Google Scholar
  76. Weidenreich F., 1943.The skull of Sinanthropus pekinensis: a comparative study on a primitive hominid skull. Palaeontologia Sinica, n. s. D, No. 10 (whole series No. 127).Google Scholar
  77. Weidenreich F., 1951.Morphology of Solo man. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, 43: 205–290.Google Scholar
  78. Wiley E. O., 1979.Cladograms and phylogenetic trees. Systematic Zoology, 28: 88–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wolpoff M. H., 1986.Describing anatomically modern Homo sapiens — a distribution without a definable difference. Anthropos (Brno), 23: 41–53.Google Scholar
  80. Wolpoff M. H., Wu Xinzhi &Thorne A. G., 1984.A general theory of hominid evolution involving the fossil evidence from East Asia. In F. H. Smith and F. Spencer (eds.) The Original of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence. New York: Alan R. Liss, pp. 411–484.Google Scholar
  81. Wu Xinzhi, 1981.A well-preserved cranium of an archaic type of early Homo sapiens from Dali, China, Scientia Sinica, 24: 530–539.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Editrice II Sedicesimo 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Habgood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of SydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations