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Recent news[edit]

This article mention the people involved with this project. It also have a photo. "The near-complete skull, pieces of jawbone and several teeth unveiled in july 2001 - march 2002 were discovered in the desert of northern Chad by a team led by Alain Beauvilain, of the Centre National d'Appui à la Recherche, N'Djamena, Chad." [

See also Guardian Unlimited | Life | More human than ape.
(I have also taken the liberty of adding the title of your Web reference, plus your IP address and datestamp for future reference).
--Tiffer 09:47, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)


The first sentence seems to be incomplete. I can't fix it because I don't know what the author was trying to say. It currently reads:

"Sahelanthropus tchadensis is classified as the oldest possible member of the human family tree early (fossil hominin), approximately 7 million years old from the Miocene."

There's something missing between "tree" and "early". thx1138 11:57, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Fixed. - UtherSRG (talk) 13:20, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Gorilla shape[edit]

In camparison to a Gorilla's skull, Toumai's does have some similar traits. See I'm not sure if this represents the oldest hominid since the molecular genetic cloak extends 5 million years in contrast to 7. More can be read in Richard Leakey's novel "The origin of Mankind".

Even if Toumai is proven not a direct human ancestor, it would be interesting as an earlier link for Gorillas and Chimpanzees.


What does "thought to have lived" mean? Is this synonymous with "claimed to have lived"? All I've seen is that the discoverers put out a date of 6-7 million based on associated fauna and have also put up a firm date (on their websites, not their publications) of 7 million years. I don't see an indication of any serious work on dating. This is a topic which is of wide interest, and it would be nice to have more links, preferably with a recent review. Abu Amaal 03:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Sahelanthropus as a human/chimp ancestor[edit]

If Sahelanthropus was demonstrated not to be the earliest human, Sahelanthropus is probably the ancestor of chimpanzees and humans. Orrorin might also be a chimp/human ancestor. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Those are possibilities. - UtherSRG (talk) 12:11, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't the line "a Miocene ape related to humans and other living African apes" seem just a little contentious? --Wetman 08:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Humans are apes. African is redundant. - UtherSRG (talk) 12:19, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Status of Sahelanthropus[edit]

The lack of skeletal remains clearly explains why the controversy over the identification of Sahelanthropus as a human ancestor erupted. While Sahelanthropus, for the time being, is assigned to Hominini incertae sedis, discovery of postcranial remains may not only reinstate Sahelanthropus as the earliest human ancestor, but also answer the question surrounding the lifestyle of Sahelanthropus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

References for Sahelanthropus[edit]

Add these references to the reference section:

Wolpoff, M.H., B. Senut, M. Pickford & J. Hawks (2002). Sahelanthropus or ‘Sahelpithecus’? Nature 419:581-582.

Brunet, M. (2002). Reply to “Sahelanthropus or ‘Sahelpithecus.’ Nature 419:582.

Brunet M., Guy F., Pilbeam D., Lieberman D.E., Likius A., Mackaye H.T. et al. (2005): New material of the earliest hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad. Nature, 434:752-5.

Zollikofer C.P.E., Ponce de León M.S., Lieberman D.E., Guy F., Pilbeam D., Likius A. et al. (2005): Virtual cranial reconstruction of Sahelanthropus tchadensis. Nature, 434:755-9.

Wood B. (2002): Hominid revelations from Chad. Nature, 418:133-5.

The new material attributed to Sahelanthropus by Brunet et. al. (2005) is TM 247 and TM 292. Zollikofer et. al. (2005) noted a hole in the spinal cord of Sahelanthropus, suggesting that Sahelanthropus was bipedal, indicating that bipedalism was invented by hominids 7 million years ago. These papers provide more supporting evidence that Sahelanthropus is a hominid. Brunet plans to continue excavations of the area in which Sahelanthropus was found and may find postcranial remains that may belong to Sahelanthropus.

Bipedalism in Apes[edit]

Is it possible that bipedalism evolved in the common ancestor of humans & chimps, only to be lost secondarily in chimps?. Such evolution & secondary loss of features is not unheard of in animals (example: the flightless ostrich evolved from flying birds, which in turn evolved from flightless dinosaurs). Also, it would account for the fact that Sahelanthropus is older than the suggested last common ancestor between chimps & humans. - User: 16:04, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

It's a valid theory, but not very likely. In other cases of degenerated functionality, there's also degenerated physicality to show the derivation. In your example of the ostrich, the wings are retained (and in fact have new use) but are degenerated from the shape of a functional flighted wing. Likewise penguins are evolved from flighted bird, but their wings have changed. If chimps and humans were both evolved from a bipedal hominin, then chimps would have certain features in their feet, knees, legs and hips which would point us to that conclusion. They don't have these features, so it is highly unlikely that a chimp ancestor was bipedal. - UtherSRG (talk) 17:01, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
@UtherSRG: Ignoring the advantage of bipedalism, what would you expect the degradation to be? Shorter legs? Evan Carroll (talk) 16:24, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm no zoologist or anthropologist, so from my layman's understanding, there are key features in the shape of the footbones, legbones, pelvis, and neck that all make long-term bipedalism possible. (Long-term because there are many animals that can do short-term bipedalism, such as bears.) those changes would be present but degraded in chimps, and I believe they are not present. - UtherSRG (talk) 01:37, 17 March 2010 (UTC)


The article cannot go on like that, with one part of the article contradicting the next, or even one sentence contradicting the next. The status as an hominina or as a paninais not settled, the article must reflect that and not try to impose one view or the other. --Dwarfpower (talk) 16:07, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

AfD of John D. Hawks[edit]

This article was attacked as nonnotable and proposed for deletion. You can comment at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/John_D._Hawks#John_D._Hawks. --JWB (talk) 22:39, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Good day,i am a Zoology student and wish to know more about "Toumai" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

File:Sahelanthropus tchadensis - TM 266-01-060-1.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Sahelanthropus tchadensis - TM 266-01-060-1.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on March 15, 2012. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2012-03-15. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 05:57, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Sahelanthropus tchadensis skull

A cast of the extinct hominid species Sahelanthropus tchadensis holotype cranium, dubbed "Toumaï", in facio-lateral view. The original cranial fragment is dated to about 7 million years ago and was discovered in Chad. Other than Toumaï, the only Sahelanthropus remains to be discovered are five pieces of jaw and some teeth.

Photo: Didier Descouens
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Tim White[edit]

I'm reading a bit on Wikipedia on Human origins. I note that Tim White, who I have zero knowledge of, is cited time and time again as being "THE" source of various claims stated on Wikipedia. To me, this raises a red flag. If it is true that Dr. White is the only source for so much on human origins, then his entire "model" is likely a "pet theory" rather than accepted broadly across the scientific community. I don't know the quality of his work, nor the robustness of his analysis, and I have no reason to believe it is not of the highest quality; I simply wish to raise the possibility that there is too much attributed to only one investigator to be be taken as solid, established science. (Too much reliance on "authority"). FWIW.Abitslow (talk) 17:35, 11 July 2014 (UTC)