Who was the Earliest Hominin?

Who exactly is the most ancient hominin ever found? That depends on who you talk to. Along with Orrorin tugenensis (described above), the leading contender for the earliest possible hominin is Sahelanthropus tchadensis, known also known as Toumai or TM 266 (image at the top of the page). There has been significant debate and assessment of whether these two fossils are actually hominins. For this assignment, you are to use the scientific literature provided below to argue a position about which of them has the best case for being the earliest hominin. Here are some things to address in your paper:

How, where, and by whom were each of the fossils discovered?
How old is each and how were they dated?
On what bases specifically do the discoverers of Sahelanthropous make the claim that it is a hominin? Explain in detail.
On what bases are the claims of the discoverers of both Sahelanthropus and Orrorin disputed or supported and why? Explain in detail using examples from the literature below.
Your conclusion: which of the two fossil discoveries has the best case for the claim of the earliest possible ancestor? Why?

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Some of the information I provided earlier for Orrorin tugenensis can help you and act as a model for your assignment. As you bring information about Orrorin into your assignment, please draw on the literature below and not my summary above. Please cite your information using APA references for the articles provided. Do not bring in outside sources for the assignment, though you are free to utilize the internet and the Explorations textbook to help you make sense of the information. The case you make must be evidence-based and not simply a reflection of your opinion. To be clear, you certainly do not need to read every word of the articles below, but you should look over all of them and make direct use of at least 6 of them. Some of the articles are by the discoverers, some are critiques, and some are reassessments by others.

Almécija, S. et al. The femur of Orrorin tugenensis exhibits morphometric affinities with both Miocene apes and later hominins. Nat. Commun. 4:2888 doi: 10.1038/ncomms3888 (2013).

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Brunet, M. et al. A new hominin from the upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa. Nature 418, 145-151 (2002).

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Brunet, M. et al. New material of the earliest hominin from the upper Miocene of Chad. Nature 434, 752-755 (2005).

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Pickford, M. & Senut, B. The geological and faunal context of late Miocene hominin remains from Lukeino, Kenya. Comptes Rendus Académie de la Terres et des Planètes 332, 145-152 (2001).

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Pickford, M. et al. Bipedalism in Orrorin tugenensis revealed by its femora. Comptes Rendus Palevol 1, 191-203 (2002).

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Richmond, B. G. & Jungers, W. L. Orrorin tugenensis femoral morphology and the evolution of hominin bipedalism. Science 319, 1662-1665 (2008).

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Senut, B. et al. First hominin from the Miocene (Lukeino Formation, Kenya). Comptes Rendus Académie de la Terres et des Planètes 332, 137-144 (2001).

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White, T. D. Early hominin femora: The inside story. Comptes Rendus Palevol 5, 99-108 (2006).

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Wolpoff, M. H. et al. Sahelanthropus or ‘Sahelpithecus’? Nature 419, 581-582 (2002).

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Wolpoff, M. H. et al. An ape or the ape: Is the Toumaï cranium TM 266 a hominin? PaleoAnthropology 2006, 36-50 (2006)

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