Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 22

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This photo depicts an assortment of hominid species, including most of the australopithecines and Homo ergaster (front left, facing camera). A neanderthal is at top right. The reconstructions (obviously, these are photos of the models) were produced by Wolfgang Schnaubelt and Nina Kieser in co-operation with GEO-magazine; an exhibition displaying the models opened in 1998 at the Landesmuseum, Darmstadt (Germany), which is where this photo was taken. Photo taken in 2005 by D. Martill.

Oh yeah, and…

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… (given that it was only a matter of time before someone made the ‘grad students’ joke) here’s me doing the same trick with some other hominids. I’m wearing the cap (not just any old cap, but one I bought from Grube Messel no less). Martill, Loveridge, Witton, Hing and Elliott are hiding in there somewhere… and others who have since embarked on careers in sedimentology, palaeoentomology and god knows what else.

Comments

  1. #1 chris wemmer
    July 10, 2007

    Okay, I was wrong — they are not fellow grad students. (howling laughter in background)

  2. #2 Mark Witton
    July 10, 2007

    Should anyone think the Portsmouth 2005 graduates are so devilishly handsome that they need to see more of this image, one of the better looking individuals has a copy of this photograph (taken by Dino Frey, trivia fans) at his website. Point your browser here or, for the Olympically proportioned version, here.

    Incidentally, does anyone else find it worrying that all those mentioned in the text look pretty much exactly the same as they did 2 years ago? In fact, I don’t think Richard has changed his clothes once since then…

  3. #3 Darren Naish
    July 10, 2007

    What was I doing with my hands? – oh, wait.. I remember..

  4. #4 Zach Miller
    July 10, 2007

    Is that Paranthropus at the right edge of the (top) picture? And who’s right next to you? Is that Kenyanthropus?

  5. #5 Neil
    July 12, 2007

    Mark thats harsh – You know full well Richard has upgraded to a new and completely different blue demin jacket….

  6. #6 Darren Naish
    July 12, 2007

    Is that Paranthropus at the right edge of the (top) picture? And who’s right next to you? Is that Kenyanthropus?

    The animal at far right is Homo/Australopithecus rudolfensis; the one to the left of me is Paranthropus boisei.

  7. #7 chris y
    July 13, 2007

    Why are most of them looking at you apprehensively out of the corner of their eyes?

  8. #8 Malcolm Smith
    July 16, 2007

    Are all the models female? (The Neanderthal looks rather masculine to me.) The reason I ask is that, if any of them are meant to be male, some sort of beard might be in order.
    In any case, the Neanderthal represents a species which lives in Europe for thousands of year longer than the modern inhabitants – and under the reduced sunlight regime of the ice age. I think he/she should be fair skinned, blond, and blue eyed. Why are Neanderthals never depicted in that manner?

  9. #9 Kris
    February 15, 2009

    I know this is probably a bit late to answer, but I’ve been reading tetrapod postings all day and have been absolutely awestricken by all the clever things all the clever people wrote, and now, finally, there is something where I feel I can answer, too! 🙂
    1.) if any of them are meant to be male, some sort of beard might be in order.
    Don’t you thing the guy on the far right (H. rudolfensis) has a beard? Also, seeing how not even all modern human ethnicities (is this the politically correct way of saying this now?) have much beard growth at all, I’m not sure why such comparatively distantly related hominids should have much of one. The neanderthal, of course, should — if only to keep his face warm in that rotten ice age weather! Which leads me to
    2.) I think he/she should be fair skinned, blond, and blue eyed. Why are Neanderthals never depicted in that manner?
    But they are. 🙂 I grew up with frequent visits to the Neanderthal museum (located in the actual Neandertal, between Düsseldorf and Wuppertal), and I am almost convinced there are plenty blond neanderthal reconstructions there. 🙂

  10. #10 Erik
    October 15, 2009

    Expanding on observations already made, it seems obvious that someone’s idea of “primitive” equates to having dark skin — including Neanderthal (though Neanderthal was in no way “primitive” compared to us), even though Neanderthal never set foot (to our knowledge) in a tropical region. Even the hominids that did live exclusively in the tropics of Africa, most of them lived entirely in dense forests. Just as “primitive” doesn’t equate to dark skin, neither does “African”. These would have had pale skin too.

  11. #11 David Marjanović
    October 15, 2009

    The neanderthal, of course, should — if only to keep his face warm in that rotten ice age weather!

    Ice can form in a beard when the breath freezes. That’s reportedly rather counterproductive. It’s possible to shave with flint blades…

    Even the hominids that did live exclusively in the tropics of Africa, most of them lived entirely in dense forests. Just as “primitive” doesn’t equate to dark skin, neither does “African”. These would have had pale skin too.

    Chimpanzees are indeed white, but bonobos are black…

    The plesiomorphy for Homo sapiens is to stand around in a savanna, naked. That means dark skin — or infertility from lack of folic acid (even before skin cancer strikes). Lighter skin has evolved repeatedly; different mutations are responsible for that of Europeans and east-Asians.

    There were Neandertalers with a mutation for red hair, but not the same mutation that occurs today.

  12. #12 TZO2k11
    January 19, 2011

    I’m curious, in every anthropology, sociology, and history texts it has been proven that the earliest humans originated from Africa, yet every single representation of the famous ape-to-Homo sapien/(Anatomically Modern Humans) transition visual depict Europeans exclusively?

    Does that mean Africans and Asians are of a different species and perhaps a sub-species of Homo sapien/AMH? And if they are the same species, then why does western academia consider the study of human origins linked exclusively towards the European perspective?

    I also learned that the bushmen from Africa were the genetic equivalent of the first tribe of man, forgot the docu-though..

    Just curious, thanks in advance You devilishly hot-lookin’ AMH’s, you! (^_-)

  13. #13 Caitlin Bowman
    March 31, 2011

    Who are the two Australopithicines( I’m assuming that they are) on the far left top and bottom??

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