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Is Dmanisi 5 The Ancestor Of Homo Erectus?

1103 words - 4 pages

Who is the ancestor of Homo erectus? Because of the lack of evidence, there is still no official, scientifically explained answer to this question. However, this doesn’t stop many anthropologists (and non-anthropologists) from speculating. We may never know what truly happened 1.8 Mya, but we are free to analyse the situations and conditions of the four species alive then (H. habilis, H. rudolfensis, P. boisei, and the skulls from early H. erectus found in Dmanisi, Georgia) and make up our own scenario’s. I believe that the early H. erectus skull of Dmanisi 5 is the missing link between the earlier member of the genus Homo, and the later, more developed members. Their ability to leave Africa, ability to have many different variations of skull, and the similar (but not identical) features of the skull compared to H. erectus, make me believe that Dmanisi 5 is the bridge between the species.

The Dmanisi D5 is a skull found in Georgia near Southern Russia. They have a relatively small brain size, but a large face. They had thick brow ridges, like H. erectus. Things also similar to H. erectus include molar and premolar tooth structure, a high cranial vault, and a lengthening of the hind limb (Stanford, Allen, Anton, 2012). They also might have started culture the way H. erectus later used, in form of making shelter and clothes or living in a family oriented system, which all is beneficial when moving into unfamiliar areas with different climates and condition. These similarities are not identical enough to make them the same species. They have a less defined sagittal keel, and didn’t control fire. H. erectus is known for their bigger brain (near 700-1200cc), and the Dmanisi doesn’t possess this important and defining characteristic, which can’t be explained as a result of sexual dimorphism. This makes me believe that Dmanisi is the transition phase between the 500cc H. habilis brain and the large H. erectus brain. This also explains why Dmanisi skull 5 and late H. erectus WT 15000 “Mariokotome Boy” have many morphological differences. Because they are not the same species, morphological differences are not unexplainable. When comparing two H. habilis skulls on The Smithsonian Website with both Dmanisi 5 and WT15000, you will see that there are differences between both H. habilis and Dmanisi 5, as with H. habilis and WT 15000 (“OH24” “KNM-ER 1813” “KNM-ER 1470”). What I see when I compared the skulls, is that Dmanisi 5 is the middle form between H. habilis and WT 15000. H. habilis is the earliest version, which eventually developed into Dmanisi 5, which later developed even more into WT 15000. I see this both in cranial size (from small to bigger), as in brow ridge development (develops into a more bar-like supraorbital torus). The cranium also got rounder from one species to the next.
My suspicions of being the missing link were also supported because they were the first ones of the genus Homo to leave Africa. This is something that H. habilis...

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