14 January 2008

March of Man: Information Upgrade

The information in the "Field Guide" at March of Man is fairly vague, unsubstantiated, and really just a first pass. I started to collect more complete, referenced entries in a Google Docs document:

March of Man Taxa

This is publicly viewable. If anyone wishes to help out with this (and receive credit on the March of Man website, of course), leave a comment and I'll share the document with you.

Here's a sample of one of the more complete entries so far:

Orrorin tugenensis

Time Range: 6.1 to 5.8 Mya

Author: Senut et al. 2001

Definition: The species typified by BAR 1000'00.

Synonyms: Praeanthropus tugenensis Cela-Conde and Ayala 2003

Hypodigm: at least 5 individuals -- BAR 1000a'00 (fragment of left mandible with molars 2 and 3; holotype); BAR 1000b'00 (fragment of right mandible with molar 3; holotype); BAR 349'00 (manual phalanx; paratype);
BAR 1001'00 (upper central incisor; paratype); BAR 1002'00 (left femur; paratype); BAR 1003'00 (proximal left femur; paratype); BAR 1004'00 (right humeral shaft; paratype); BAR 1215'00 (proximal right femur; paratype); BAR 1390'00 (lower 4th premolar; paratype); BAR 1425'00 (upper right canine; paratype); BAR 1426'00 (upper left 3rd molar; paratype); BAR 1900'00 (upper right 3rd molar; paratype); KNM LU 335 (lower molar; paratype)

Systematics: Originally proposed as the earliest species closer to Homo than to Australopithecus (Senut et al. 2001). However, this poses temporal difficulties, since it dates from a time when, according to genetic evidence, the human and chimpanzee lineages had only just begun to diverge, or perhaps had not diverged at all (Patterson et al. 2006). Instead it may be a very early species in the human lineage (Cela-Conde et al. 2003) or, given the timing, something close to the human-chimpanzee concestor. See: Hominini (concestor), stem-Hominini

Cranial Capacity: unknown, but probably about 350 cc

Description: Probably somewhat chimp- or bonobo-like, but with a more habitually upright posture.

Adult Female Height: 0.7 to 1m

Adult Male Height: 0.9 to 1.2m

  • Cela-Conde, C. J. and F. J. Ayala (2003). Genera of the human lineage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100(13):7684-7689. doi:10.1073/pnas.0832372100
  • Patterson, N., D. J. Richter, S. Gnerre, E. S. Lander and D. Reich (2006 June 29). Genetic evidence for complex speciation of humans and chimpanzees. Nature 441:1103-1108. doi:10.1038/nature04789
  • Senut, B., M. Pickford, D. Gommery, P. Mein, K. Cheboi and Y. Coppens (2001). First hominid from the Miocene (Lukeino Formation, Kenya). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie de Sciences 332:137-144.


  1. I've seen some of your previous Carnotaurus comics, funny stuff. But the March of Man is genius. I got into paleo because of those timelife books, 2 decades ago rather than 4, and am really hip to watching this project evolve. good luck, too bad i'm not a artist.

    ps, Under the Banner of Heaven is a disturbing book, and it gets moreso farther into it...

  2. Thanks, I guess I feel less bad about abandoning Parry & Carney.

    Maybe I should just drop that book right now....