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Encyclopedia > Meganthropus
Meganthropus
Fossil range: Pleistocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Genus: Homo?
Species: H. erectus?
Subspecies: H. e. palaeojavanicus?
Trinomial name
Homo erectus palaeojavanicus?

Meganthropus is a name commonly given to several large jaw and skull fragments from Sangiran, Central Java. The original scientific name was Meganthropus paleojavanicus, and while it is very commonly considered invalid today, the genus name has survived as something of an informal nickname for the fossils. As of 2005, the taxonomy and phylogeny for the specimens are still uncertain, although most paleoanthropologists considering them related to Homo erectus in some way. However, the names Homo paleojavanicus and even Australopithecus paleojavanicus are sometimes used as well, indicating the classification uncertainty. The finds are regarded by some, particularly young earth creationists, as those of giant humans, although the skulls are morphologically different from those of Homo Sapiens. The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) on the geologic timescale is the period from 1,808,000 to 11,550 years BP. The Pleistocene epoch had been intended to cover the worlds recent period of repeated glaciations. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including those that produce milk, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex... For the ecclesiastical use of this term, see primate (religion) Families 13, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, and apes, including humans. ... Genera The hominids are the members of the biological family Hominidae (the great apes), which includes humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. ... Species Homo sapiens See text for extinct species. ... Binomial name (Dubois, 1892) Synonyms † Pithecanthropus erectus † Sinanthropus pekinensis † Javanthropus soloensis † Meganthropus paleojavanicus Homo erectus (Latin: upright man) is an extinct species of the genus Homo. ... Trinomial nomenclature is a taxonomic naming system that extends the standard system of binomial nomenclature by adding a third taxon. ... Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia, and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is a standard convention used for naming species. ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... Look up taxonomy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In biology, phylogenetics (Greek: phylon = tribe, race and genetikos = relative to birth, from genesis = birth) is the study of evolutionary relatedness among various groups of organisms (e. ... Paeloanthropology is the branch of physical anthropology that focuses on the study of human evolution. ... Binomial name (Dubois, 1892) Synonyms † Pithecanthropus erectus † Sinanthropus pekinensis † Javanthropus soloensis † Meganthropus paleojavanicus Homo erectus (Latin: upright man) is an extinct species of the genus Homo. ...


After the discovery of a robust skull in Swartkrans in 1948 (SK48), the name Meganthropus africanus was briefly applied. However, the specimen is now formally known as Paranthropus robustus and the earlier name is a junior synonym. Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Binomial name Paranthropus robustus Broom, 1938 Paranthropus robustus was originally discovered in Southern Africa in 1938. ...


Some of these finds were accompanied by evidence of tool use similar to that of Homo erectus. This is the reason it is often linked with that species.

Contents

Fossil finds

The number of fossil finds has been relatively small, and it is a distinct possibility that they are a paraphyletic assemblage. Due to this, they will be discussed in detail separately.


Meganthropus A/Sangiran 6

This large jaw fragment was first found in 1941 by Von Koenigswald. Koenigswald was captured by the Japanese in World War II, but managed to send a cast of the jaw to Franz Weidenreich. Weidenreich described and named the specimen in 1945, and was struck by its size, it was the largest hominid jaw then known. The jaw was roughly the same height as a gorilla's, but was much thicker. Weidenreich considered acromegalic gigantism, but ruled it out for not having typical features such as an exaggerated chin and small teeth compared to the jaw's size. Weidenreich never made a direct size estimate of the hominid it came from, but said it was 2/3 the size of Gigantopithecus, which was twice as large as a gorilla, which would make it somewhere around 8 feet (2.44 meters) tall. The jawbone was apparently used in part of Grover Krantz's skull reconstruction, which was only 8.5 inches (21 centimeters) tall. For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Franz Weidenreich (7 June 1873, Edenkoben, Germany- 11 July 1948, New York City U.S.) was a German anatomist and physical anthropologist who studued human evolution. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... A hominid is any member of the biological family Hominidae (the great apes), including the extinct and extant humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. ... Type species Troglodytes gorilla Savage, 1847 distribution of Gorilla Species Gorilla gorilla Gorilla beringei The gorilla, the largest of the living primates, is a ground-dwelling omnivore that inhabits the forests of Africa. ... Species Gigantopithecus blacki Gigantopithecus bilaspurensis Gigantopithecus giganteus Gigantopithecus was a genus of ape that existed from as long ago as five million years to as recently as 100 thousand years ago in what today are China, India, and Vietnam, placing Gigantopithecus in the same time frame and geographical location as... Gordon S. Grover Krantz (November 5, 1931 – February 14, 2002) was a professor of physical anthropology at Washington State University, and a renowned Bigfoot researcher. ...


Meganthropus B/Sangiran 8

This was another jaw fragment described by Marks in 1953. It was around the same size and shape as the original mandible, but it was also severely damaged. Recent work by a Japanese/Indonesian team repaired the fossil, which was an adult, and showed it to be smaller than known specimens of H. erectus. Curiously, the specimen did retain several traits unique to the first mandibular find and not known in H. erectus[1]. No size estimates have been made yet. Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Meganthropus C/Sangiran 33/BK 7905

This mandibular fragment was discovered in 1979, and has some characteristics in common with previous mandible finds [2]. Its connection with Meganthropus appears to be the most tenuous out of the mandibular discoveries. Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ...


Meganthropus D

This mandible and ramus was acquired by Sartono in 1993, and has been dated to between 1.4 and 0.9 million years ago. The ramus portion is badly damaged, but the mandible fragment appears relatively unharmed, although details of the teeth have been lost. It is slightly smaller than Meganthropus A and very similar in shape. Sartono, Tyler, and Krantz agreed that Meganthropus A and D were very likely to be representations of the same species, whatever it turns out to be [3]. Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ...


Meganthropus I/Sangiran 27

Tyler described this specimen as being a nearly complete but crushed cranium within the size limit of Meganthropus and outside the (assumed) limit of H. erectus. The specimen was unusual for having a double sagittal crest and a heavily thickened nuchal crest [4]. A.C. Durband challenged the interpretation of the fossil, and showed it to be well within the known range for H. erectus [5].


Meganthropus II/Sangiran 31

This skull fragment was first described by Sartono in 1982. Tyler's analysis came to the conclusion that it was out of the normal range of H. erectus. The cranium was thicker, lower vaulted, and wider than any specimen previously recovered, had the same double sagittal crest as Meganthropus I, and had a cranial capacity of around 800-1000cc [6]. However, Andrew Kramer analyzed the same fossil and came to the conclusion that the "sagittal crest" was due to damage, and that the specimen showed remarkable similarities with Sangiran 4, a certain H. erectus [7]. Durband's analysis showed that while Meganthropus II had differences with H. erectus, it was within the range of variation [8]. This fossil was also used in Krantz's reconstruction. Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ...


Meganthropus III

Another fossil with only tenuous ties to Meganthropus. Durband's analysis showed it to be within the range of H. erectus [9].


Scientific interpretation

Weidenreich theorized that Meganthropus was a descendant of Gigantopithecus, and gave rise to Pithecanthropus, and then modern Asians. This hypothesis, part of the multi-regional theory of human evolution, has been discarded by mainstream paleoanthropology. Species Gigantopithecus blacki Gigantopithecus bilaspurensis Gigantopithecus giganteus Gigantopithecus was a genus of ape that existed from as long ago as five million years to as recently as 100 thousand years ago in what today are China, India, and Vietnam, placing Gigantopithecus in the same time frame and geographical location as... Pithecanthropus erectus was the name first given to the Homo erectus specimen, also known as Java Man, by its discoverer Eugene Dubois. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ...


The second major theory, first proposed by J.T. Robinson, was that the Meganthropus finds are representative of a Southeast Asian australopithecine. This position has been adopted by several authorities, such as Koenigswald and Krantz, but they were still regarded as a vocal minority [10]. There was also discussion as to whether they are closer to Australopithecus or Paranthropus. This term australopithecine refers to two very closely related hominin genera: Australopithecus Paranthropus When used alone, the term refers to both genera together. ... Species †A. afarensis (Lucy) †A. africanus †A. anamensis †A. bahrelghazali †A. garhi Formerly Australopithecus, now Paranthropus † † † For the song Australopithecus by Modest Mouse, see Sad Sappy Sucker. ... Species †Paranthropus aethiopicus †Paranthropus boisei †Paranthropus robustus The robust australopithecines, members of the extinct hominin genus Paranthropus (Greek para beside, Greek anthropos human), were bipedal hominins that probably descended from the gracile australopithecine hominins (Australopithecus). ...


The majority of paleoanthropologists believe that Meganthropus is related to H. erectus, but it is not agreed upon how closely. Sartono believes that while it is related to H. erectus, the finds represent a new species, H. paleojavanicus. On the other side, several authors believe that they are merely the males of H. erectus, the alleged large size and robusticity being only due to early author's assumption that the females were males [11]. There appears to be a consensus that there are some differences between Meganthropus and conventional H. erectus, but opinion is variable as to what the differences mean.


Extreme claims

Meganthropus has been the target of numerous extreme claims, none of which are supported by peer-reviewed authors. Perhaps the most common claim is that Meganthropus was a giant, one unsourced claim put them at 9 feet (2.75 meters) tall and 750 to 1000 pounds (340 to 450 kilograms). No exact height has been published in a peer reviewed journal recently, and none give an indication of Meganthropus being substantially larger than H. erectus.


There have been some rumors of post-cranial material, but those have either yet to be published or belong to H. erectus. Reports, most if not all apparently from Australian researcher Rex Gilroy, place Meganthropus in Australia, and attach it to giant tools and even modern day reports. However, most all paleoanthropologists maintain that Meganthropus was only known from central Java. In a similar way, some Bigfoot researchers claim that Meganthropus is their subject's identity. Rex Gilroy is an Australian who has published books and articles on cryptids and unexplained or speculative phenomena. ... It has been suggested that Evidence regarding Bigfoot be merged into this article or section. ...


Some creationists insist that Meganthropus are Nephilim, but there is nothing to suggest that it was anything other than a hominid, albeit a particularly robust one. Creationism is a religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their original form by a deity or deities (often the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam), whose existence is presupposed. ... For other uses, see Nephilim (disambiguation). ...


References

  • ^  ^ . Yousuke Kaifu, Fachroel Aziz, and Hisao Baba. Hominid Mandibular Remains From Sangiran: 1952-1986 collection. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 2005. Abstract Available: here
  • ^  G. Krantz, S. Sartono, and D. Tyler. A New Meganthropus Mandible from Java. Human Evolution, 1995. Abstract Available in the 1995 Supplements of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
  • ^  ^  D. Tyler. Taxonomic Status of "Meganthropus" Cranial Material. Abstract Available in the 1993 Supplements of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
  • ^  ^  ^  A.C. Durband 2003 A re-examination of purported Meganthropus cranial fragments. Paper not yet published. Abstract available in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology supplements for 2003. Also available: [12]
  • ^  ^  A. Kramer. 1994. A Critical Analysis of Southeast Asian Australopithecines. Journal of Human Evolution volume 26, number 1.
  • ^  Russell Ciochon, John Olsenm and Jamie James, Other Origins: The Search for the Giant Ape in Human Prehistory. Bantam Books, 1990.
  • Bernard Heuvelmans. On the Track of Unknown Animals. Rupert Hart Davis, London, 1962.
  • Franz Weidenreich. Apes, Giants, and Men. University of Chicago Press, 1996.

External links

  • Krantz's Skull Reconstruction
  • Rex Gilroy's site on alleged Australian finds

  Results from FactBites:
 
Meganthropus at AllExperts (363 words)
Meganthropus was given a subspecies classification to distinguish it from other fossilized representatives of Homo erectus on account of its supposed enormous size.
# A.C. Durband 2003 A re-examination of purported Meganthropus cranial fragments.
2003 A re-examination of purported "Meganthropus" cranial fragments.
Meganthropus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1253 words)
Meganthropus is a name commonly given to several large jaw and skull fragments from Sangiran, Central Java.
The original scientific name was Meganthropus paleojavanicus, and while it is very uncommonly considered valid today, the genus name has survived as a sort of formal nickname for the fossils.
Meganthropus has been the target of numerous extreme claims, none of which are supported by peer-reviewed authors.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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