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Awards & Recognition

Co Authors:

Erin Barley
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University

Joan Sharp
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University


We are a recipient of a 2004 National Dissemination grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education and has been cited as a source for model case studies by the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science



Keywords: 2004 National Dissemination grant, National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education, NSF, National Science Digital Library, NSDL, American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS, National Research Council, NRC, Biology2010
Topical Area: web20
Educational Level: web20
Formats: web20
Type/Method: web20
Language: web20
Subject Headings: Evolutionary Biology   Biology (General)  
Date Posted: 3/5/2010
Date Modified:
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

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This is awesome and timely! I’m doing human evolution in my general biology class this week and I’ve been looking for just such a case. I have one concern that I would like to past back to the authors.

I know that there are disagreements among paleoanthropologists, but I’m finding that most of my sources include Pan (chimps) in the Hominini Tribe. This case appears to exclude chimps from the Hominini (commonly refered to as Hominins).

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Superfamily: Hominoidea
  • Family: Hominidae
  • Subfamily: Homininae
  • Tribe: Hominini
  • Subtribe Panina: Genus Pan (chimp-like) Subtribe Hominina: Genus Homo (human-like) + Extinct Genera:

    • Paranthropus
    • Australopithecus
    • Sahelanthropus
    • Orrorin
    • Ardipithecus
    • Kenyanthropus

Caryn Self-Sullivan, PhD
Department of Biology
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Georgia 30458
Authors’ Reply

Thanks for your comments on our case.

There is still a dispute among paleoanthropologists about the use of the term hominin. The term is used for the taxonomic level of tribe and the dispute addresses how closely related chimps and humans are. The most common usage is that used in our case, based on the assumption that chimp and human lineages are different tribes and using hominin for the human lineage. There are two competing usages. The one you use assumes that chimp and human lineages belong to one tribe, the hominin. Finally, a third group of paleoanthropologists argues strongly that chimps and humans belong to the same genus and refers to chimps as Homo troglodytes. We have added a note about this controversy to the case teaching notes.

Erin Barley and Joan Sharp
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia Canada

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