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Temporal range: Pliocene - present
|Skull of Homo neanderthalensis|
If an anthropologist wants to includes chimpanzees in the tribe Hominini, then it follows that a sub-tribe is needed to put Australopithecines and humans in. But this is not a majority view at present, and the mainstream view is:
If used, the group includes Sahelanthropus six to eight million years ago.
Because there was no reason to think it would ever have any additional members, Carl Linnaeus did not even bother to define Homo when he first created it for humans in the 18th century. The discovery of Neanderthals brought the first addition.
The genus Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its member species can be classified as human.
Classifying a fossil as Homo means evidence of:
- competent human bipedalism in Homo habilis inherited from the earlier Australopithecus of more than four million years ago, (see Laetoli);
- human tool culture having begun by 2.5 million years ago.
- Schwartz, Jeffrey H.; Tattersall, Ian (28 August 2015). "Defining the genus Homo". Science 349 (6251): 931–932. . https://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6251/931.summary. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Lents, Nathan (4 October 2014). "Homo naledi and the Problems with the Homo Genus". The Wildernist. https://www.thewildernist.org/2015/10/homo-nadeli-problems-with-homo-genus/. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Wood, B.; Collard, M. (2 April 1999). "The human genus". Science 284 (5411): 65–71. . . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10102822. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- Stringer, C. (2012). "What makes a modern human". Nature 485 (7396): 33–35. . .