Sima species

Michael Balter has a nice Science writeup of the recent Gibraltar conference, "Human Evolution 150 Years After Darwin."

A hush fell over the room as Tattersall sat down and Arsuaga got up to speak. To nearly everyone's surprise, Arsuaga agreed that the Sima de los Huesos skulls looked nothing like other H. heidelbergensis specimens. Nor, he said, do 13 other skulls his team had recently excavated there. "We have always said that we put the Sima hominins under the H. heidelbergensis umbrella for convenience, for practical reasons," Arsuaga said, adding that his team agrees with Tattersall that the accretion scenario is not likely. But he resisted Tattersall's call to rename the Sima fossils, at least until the remaining 13 skulls are published in coming months.

Below that, Jean-Jacques Hublin shows he's a lumper not a splitter.

References:

Balter M. 2009. New Work May Complicate History Of Neandertals and H. sapiens. Science 326:224-225. doi:10.1126/science.326_224