Phylogenetic analysis of the calvaria of Homo floresiensis

Valéry ZEITOUN, Véronique BARRIEL & Harry WIDIANTO

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 15 (5) - Pages 555-568

Published on 30 June 2016

Because until 2006 the Liang Bua human fossil remains were not available to the entire paleoanthropological community, the taxonomic position of Homo floresiensis was only a matter of opinion in publications. From the beginning, two schools of thought prevailed, and this situation persists today. One purports that the Liang Bua human series belongs to a local modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) with anatomical particularities or pathologies that may be due to insular isolation/endogamy. The second argues in favour of the existence of a new species that, depending on the authors, is either a descendant of local Homo erectus, or belongs to a much more basal taxon, closer to archaic Homo or to australopithecines. Because there are no postcranial remains confidently attributed to Homo erectus in the fossil record, and because the Homo erectus type specimen is a single and partial calvaria, a cladistic analysis was undertaken using both nonmetric morphological features and metrics of the calvariae of human fossil specimens including LB1 to test if it belongs to this taxon. Our results indicate that LB1 is included in the Homo erectus clade.


Cladistics, Alpha taxonomy, Southeast Asia, Palaeoanthropology

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint