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J Hum Evol. 1997 Aug-Sep;33(2-3):283-318.

The temporal bones from Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). A phylogenetic approach.

Author information

1
Departamento de Paleontología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Ciudad Universitaria.

Abstract

Three well-preserved crania and 22 temporal bones were recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site up to and including the 1994 field season. This is the largest sample of hominid temporal bones known from a single Middle Pleistocene site and it offers the chance to characterize the temporal bone morphology of an European Middle Pleistocene population and to study the phylogenetic relationships of the SH sample with other Upper and Middle Pleistocene hominids. We have carried out a cladistic analysis based on nine traits commonly used in phylogenetic analysis of Middle and Late Pleistocene hominids: shape of the temporal squama superior border, articular eminence morphology, contribution of the sphenoid bone to the median glenoid wall, postglenoid process projection, tympanic plate orientation, presence of the styloid process, mastoid process projection, digastric groove morphology and anterior mastoid tubercle. We have found two autapomorphies on the Home erectus temporal bone: strong reduction of the postglenoid process and absence of the styloid process. Modern humans, Neandertals and the Middle Pleistocene fossils from Europe and Africa constitute a clade characterized by a convex superior border of the temporal squama. The European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos, Petralona, Steinheim, Bilzingsleben and Castel di Guido share a Neandertal apomorphy: a relatively flat articular eminence. The fossils from Ehringsdorf, La Chaise Suardi and Biache-Saint-Vaast also display another Neandertal derived trait: an anteriorly obliterated digastric groove. Modern humans and the African Middle Pleistocene fossils share a synapomorphy: a sagittally orientated tympanic plate.

PMID:
9300344
DOI:
10.1006/jhev.1997.0155
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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