New insights into the naming of Homo erectus

A recent review article by Eduard Pop, Sofwan Noerwidi and Fred Spoor (Eugène Dubois chair 2024) offers a fresh perspective on the naming of Homo erectus. Titled “Naming Homo erectus: A review,” the study reevaluates the holotype fossils from Trinil, Java, Indonesia, questioning their classification.

The review focuses on discrepancies in morphology and taxonomic affinities, particularly with the Trinil 3 femur and Trinil 1 molar. The authors propose removing these contentious specimens from the holotype. They suggest the calotte is the most appropriate name-bearing specimen.

Access the open-source article, including Dubois’s original 1894 work, here or via the link: https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0047-2484(24)00024-1

The Anonymous (1893) issue of Verslag van het Mijnwezen in which Dubois names the species Anthropopithecus erectus. The cover indicates that 1893 was the year of publication (bottom), that it reports on the 3rd quarter of 1892 in the title, and in smaller print in the middle, that this copy was distributed as a special supplement of the Javasche Courant number 10, 1893. That issue of the newspaper, published on 3 February, is shown in the background.

The holotype of Homo erectus as published by Dubois in Anonymous (1893), consisting of A) the molar Trinil 1, B) the calotte Trinil 2, and C) the femur Trinil 3.