Homo heidelbergensis

Homo heidelbergensis

▪ hominin
 extinct species of archaic human (genus Homo) known from fossils dating from 600,000 to 300,000 years ago in Africa, Europe, and possibly Asia. The name first appeared in print in 1908 to accommodate an ancient human jaw discovered in 1907 near the town of Mauer, 16 km (10 miles) southeast of Heidelberg, Germany. Among the fossils found with the Heidelberg jaw were those of several extinct mammals that lived about 500,000 years ago.

 The Heidelberg jaw, also called the Mauer jaw, lacks a chin and is exceptionally thick and broad. The teeth are surprisingly small for such a massive mandible. The jaw is also long, and this feature may imply that the individual had a projecting lower face. Among other examples of H. heidelbergensis, the best are specimens from Bodo (Ethiopia), Kabwe (Kabwe cranium) (Zambia), Ndutu (Tanzania), Petralona (Petralona skull) (Greece), Arago (France), and possibly Dali (China). The craniums have massive browridges, long and low braincases, and thick vault bones like H. erectus (Homo erectus). Their braincases are larger than what is typical for H. erectus, but the skulls lack the unique specializations that characterize the Neanderthals. The expanded brain necessitates the modern features seen in the skull, such as the more-rounded rear of the skull (occipital), expanded sides (parietals), and broadened forehead.

      Until the 1990s it was common to place these specimens either in H. erectus or into a broad category along with Neanderthals that was often called archaic H. sapiens (Homo sapiens). A problem with the latter designation was the growing recognition that Neanderthals (Neanderthal) were unique to and relatively isolated in Europe and western Asia. It therefore became common to categorize the Neanderthals as a separate and morphologically well-defined species, H. neanderthalensis. At the same time, lumping specimens such as those found at Bodo and Petralona with modern H. sapiens would have created an unreasonably heterogeneous species, since modern H. sapiens is remarkably homogeneous in morphology and behaviour and differs strongly from archaic Homo species. Designating the Bodo and Petralona specimens as H. heidelbergensis emphasizes the uniqueness of modern H. sapiens (Homo sapiens), Neanderthals, and H. erectus. Using this taxonomy, it appears to many researchers that H. heidelbergensis is the common ancestor of both Neanderthals and modern man, with the transition from H. heidelbergensis to H. sapiens having occurred in Africa between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago.

Henry McHenry IV

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Homo heidelbergensis — „Schädel Nummer 5“ aus der „Sima de los huesos“ bei Atapuerca Zeitraum Pleistozän Ca. 600.000 bis 200.000 Jahre Fundorte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Homo Heidelbergensis — Homo heidelbergensis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Homo heidelbergensis — Homo heidelbergensis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Homo heidelbergensis —   Homo heidelbergensis Rango temporal: Pleistoceno medio …   Wikipedia Español

  • Homo heidelbergensis — Homo heidelbergensis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Homo heidelbergensis — Taxobox | name = Homo heidelbergensis fossil range = Pleistocene image width = 250px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Primates familia = Hominidae genus = Homo species = H. heidelbergensis binomial = Homo… …   Wikipedia

  • Homo heidelbergensis — El Homo heidelbergensis (apodado Goliath ) es una especie extinta del género homo y que surgió hace 500,000 años y perduró hasta hace 30,000 años. Es un antepasado directo del Hombre de Neandertal en Europa, aun cuando es muy similar a los Homo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Homo heidelbergensis — Homo heidelbergẹnsis   der, , der Heidelbergmensch …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Homo heidelbergensis — /ˌhoʊmoʊ haɪdəlbɜˈgɛnsəs/ (say .hohmoh huyduhlber gensuhs) noun a Pleistocene hominid, theorised to be a separate species and an ancestor of Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthal, exhibiting an increase in brain size, a reduction in cranial… …  

  • Homo heidelbergensis — …   Википедия

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