Although variability of the mandible makes it problematic for taxonomy, the holotypes of three of the oldest European species, Home georgicus, H. antecessor, H.heidelbergensis, are mandibles. Moreover, the distinctive validity of these three species cannot be established from these particular mandibles. The holotype of H. georgicus is pathological and similar to H. erectus in some important features, while others features are so widely spread that they are of little taxonomic value. H. antecessor shows juvenile mandibular features which are chronologically and geographically widespread, and similarities with H. pekinensis do not appear significant. The mandible from Mauer, H.heidelbergensis, is generally plesiomorphic, but similar to Neanderthals in a few important features. Neanderthals are a highly peculiar human group from the anatomical, geographical and chronological points of view. They are genetically different from H. sapiens and they seem to emerge in Europe during Middle Pleistocene. Mauer could be one of their earliest representatives.
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