Saturday, September 12, 2015

Know thy Tribe

H O M O.   Nosce te ipsum
Carl Linnaeus published Systema Naturae in 1735. Linnaeus described humans (Homo) with the latin phrase nosce te ipsum which translates to know thyself.

Systema Naturae lists more than 10,000 species of plants and animals and introduced Linnaean taxonomy.

Linnaean taxonomy became the foundation for biological nomenclature and provides the hierarchical basis for how we classify animals, plants, bacteria and other organisms including ourselves, homo sapiens.

Human classification gets revised as we unearth more bones and fossils.
You are truly home only when you find your tribe.
Srividya Srinivasan
Like others animals, the classification of homo sapiens is illustrated by a taxonomic chain that starts in the broad classification of the animal kingdom then gets increasingly specific before arriving at our genus and species homo sapiens.

Human Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata (animals with a notochord; in fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, the notochord becomes the vertebral column)
Class Mammalia
Order Primates (lemurs, bush babies, tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans)
Family Hominidae (orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and humans)
Subfamily Homininae (gorillas, chimpanzees and humans)
Tribe Hominini (humans and our close extinct relatives)
Genus Homo
Species Sapiens

Homo naledi
Berger et al. 2015 
A new hominin species found in a cave in South Africa was announced last Thursday (Berger et al). The new species is named Homo naledi. Naledi means star in the local Sesotho language.
Naledi refers to the Rising Star Cave where the bones were discovered undisturbed on an earthen flow below a narrow crack in a limestone wall.

Naledi is a new member of our hominini tribe.

The collection of bones in a remote cave chamber suggests that early hominins intentionally placed their dead which is a behavior previously thought to be limited humans.
Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless.
Duwamish Chief Seattle, 1854 Oration