Eoanthropus dawsoni Woodward, 1913
Year: 1913
Taxonomic Rank: Species
Lectotype: Piltdown - E.591
Status: Potentially valid

Eoanthropus dawsoni Woodward, 1913 is the scientific name given to the temporal bone portion of the Piltdown specimen. Haddon (1913) described the announcement by Woodward of the discovery of the Piltdown partial cranium and partial mandible, and Woodward's proposal for the name Eoanthropus dawsoni. Piltdown was subsequently established to be a hoax comprised of a modern orangutan mandible and medieval Homo sapiens skull planted at the Piltdown site.

Woodward believed the mandible and skull fragments were associated. He did not fix a type specimen. Miller (1915) assigned the temporal bone (E.591) as the lectotype.

Following the revelation of the hoax, De Beer (1955) appealed to the ICZN to supress all taxonomic names associated with the Piltdown specimen on the grounds that the taxon is hypothetical and unavailable under Article 1.3.1. It is unclear whether the ICZN ever took up this proposal or acted on it.

Stringer (2012) provided a review of the Piltdown discovery and hoax.

Brandon-Jones et al. (2016) reviewed the taxonomic and nomenclatural status of the Piltdown specimens. They argued, contra De Beer (1955), that Woodward established the name based on real specimens and with the full belief that they represented real taxa. In their assessment, "The Commission cannot force a zoologist to abandon a conviction, however improbable, that all or part of the assemblage was genuine and the described taxa recognisable. Now that the remains have been re-identified, the names attached to them are available should they prove to represent recognisable taxa, such as a subspecies of orangutan." (p. 2079).


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