In 1949, based on the large size of a single mandible, G. H. R. von Koenigswald named a new hominid genus Meganthropus. Today there is no agreement among the authorities concerning the taxonomic status of the mandibular specimens that have been assigned to the genus “Meganthropus.” Despite morphological differences related mostly to extreme size, most authorities have assigned these mandibles to a proposed highly sexually dimorphic population of early Homo erectus in Java. New evidence of cranial material has made this proposal even more problematic. Sangiran 31 consists of nearly complete left and right parietals, part of the left temporal, and an occipital. It also possesses a double sagittal ridge. The overall morphology of Sangiran 31 is different from that of any known specimen of H. erectus. An undescribed specimen, Sangiran 27, consists of a nearly complete but crushed cranium. The palate and dentition are intact and are within the size range found for the Meganthropus-type specimen and outside the range of known H. erectus specimens. Most classifications place H. erectus only in Asia. What was previously referred to as Homo erectus in Africa is now referred to as Homo ergaster and in Europe is referred to as Homo heidelbergensis, Homo atapuerca, and Homo antecessor. The specimens that have been placed in Meganthropus are morphologically different from the newly named species of Homo in Europe and Africa. The Meganthropus specimens probably represent a speciation event from H. erectus in Java and should be referred to as Homo meganthropus.
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