Who exactly is the most ancient hominin ever found? That depends who you talk to. Along with Orrorin tugenensis, the leading contender for the earliest possible hominin is Sahelanthropus tchadensis, known also known as Toumai or TM 266.
There has been significant debate and assessment of whether these two fossils are actually hominins. For this assignment you are to use the scientific literature provided below to argue a position about which of them has the best case for being the earliest hominin. Here are some things to address in your paper:
How, where, and by whom were each of the fossils discovered? How old is each and how were they dated?
On what bases specifically do the discoverers of Sahelanthropous make the claim that it is a hominin? Explain in detail.
On what bases are the claims of the discoverers of both Sahelanthropus and Orrorin disputed or supported and why?
Explain in detail using examples from the literature below. Your conclusion: which of the two fossil discoveries has the best case for the claim of earliest possible ancestor?
Why? PLEASE US THESE SOURCES PROVIDED. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Almécija, S. et al. The femur of Orrorin tugenensis exhibits morphometric affinities with both Miocene apes and later hominins. Nat. Commun. 4:2888 doi: 10.1038/ncomms3888 (2013). Actions Brunet, M. et al. A new hominin from the upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa. Nature 418, 145-151 (2002). Actions Brunet, M. et al.
New material of the earliest hominin from the upper Miocene of Chad. Nature 434, 752-755 (2005). Actions Pickford, M. & Senut, B. The geological and faunal context of late Miocene hominin remains from Lukeino, Kenya. Comptes Rendus Académie de la Terres et des Planètes 332, 145-152 (2001). Actions Pickford, M. et al. Bipedalism in Orrorin tugenensis revealed by its femora. Comptes Rendus Palevol 1, 191-203 (2002).
Actions Richmond, B. G. & Jungers, W. L. Orrorin tugenensis femoral morphology and the evolution of hominin bipedalism. Science 319, 1662-1665 (2008). Actions Senut, B. et al. First hominin from the Miocene (Lukeino Formation, Kenya). Comptes Rendus Académie de la Terres et des Planètes 332, 137-144 (2001). Actions White, T. D. Early hominin femora: inside story. Comptes Rendus Palevol 5, 99-108 (2006). Actions Wolpoff, M. H. et al. Sahelanthropus or ‘Sahelpithecus’? Nature 419, 581-582 (2002). Actions Wolpoff, M. H. et al. An ape or the ape: Is the Toumaï cranium TM 266 a hominin? PaleoAnthropology 2006, 36-50 (2006) Actions .
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