Homo saldanensis Drennan, 1955
Year: 1955
Taxonomic Rank: Species
Holotype: SAM-PQ-EH 1
Status: Potentially valid

Drennan (1955, p. 634) proposed Homo saldanensis with the skull from Hopefield (Saldanha) as the holotype.

Campbell (1965) listed the name as available but has the species epithet misspelled as 'saldenesis'. Groves (1989 p. 204) discussed the taxon but misspells it as 'saldanhensis'. It is, however, spelled correctly in the subject index and in the listing on p. 284.

Roksandic et al. (2022a) included the Saldanha specimen in the hypodigm for Homo bodoensis. In a reply, Sarmiento and Pickford (2022) noted that Homo saldanensis Drennan, 1955 has priority over Homo bodoensis. In response Roksandic et al. (2022b) argued that Homo saldanensis Drennan, 1955 is a nomen nudum because "Drennan (1955) admits that the Saldanha skull does not have any diagnotic traits," (Roksandic et al., 2022b) and therefor does not compley with Article 13 of the Code requiring proposed nomina include "a descripton or definition that states in words characters that are purported to differentiate the taxon." (ICZN, 1999)

Drennan (1955) begins the article by saying "The Saldanha skull has no individual feature that is not found in one or other of the known human fossils, but it has an interesting combination of primitive characters that give it a distinctive position in the human pedigree." (p. 625). Drennan goes on to provide a comparative description of the Saldanha specimen relative to Kabwe, Pithecanthropus, Neanderthals and various "races" of Homo sapiens. Drennan argued that Saldanha has a diagnostic constellation of traits that is distinct from any other taxon. He concluded his paper by saying "When with this there is taken into account the great thickness of the bones and other distinctive features of the Sladanha skull, the author considers it logical to designate Saldanha man as Homo saldanensis." The comparative descriptions and concluding statements appear to conform to the requirements of Article 13, and hence we argue that Homo saldanensis is available and potentially valid.

Authorship Reference