p. 374. Fossil hominins: analysis and interpretation
- Bernard Wood
‘Fossil hominins: analysis and interpretation’ explains how researchers determine how many species there are within the hominin clade. The Linnean system provides a taxonomy into which new fossil finds are fitted. This taxonomical analysis is based on an assessment of morphology. This process is frustrated by the fragments preserved and lack of soft tissues. Researchers do not agree on the number of species, or whether the process through which they are created was gradual or more abrupt. It is also sometimes possible to extract fossil DNA. Creation and preservation of fossils is dictated by environmental factors, and certain body parts are preserved more frequently, leading to gaps and biases.