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Content created: 1999-09-12
Content revised: 2017-09-04
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Reference Table of
Hominid Classification

Living things are classified using a modern version of the so-called "Linnaean Classification," named after Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné 1707-1778).

The system, which is subject to constant modification in response to new data, is based in a hierarchy of categories ranging from the most general (kingdom) to the most specific (subspecies). The following table displays the system of ever more specific categories that locate human beings in this system. The terms in boldface are the most important to the logic of the system.

Category Name Animal Form Remarks
Kingdom Animals (animalia) not plants
Subkingdom Metazoans (metazoa) not protozoa
Branch Coelomates (coelomata) not sponges &c.
Phylum (branch) Chordates (chordata) not insects, worms, &c.
Subphylum Vertebrates (vertebrata) creatures with spines
Class Mammals (mammalia) not fishes, amphibians, reptiles, or birds
Subclass Placental Mammals (placentalia) not marsupials;
Order Primates Click me.
Infraorder 1 Lemurs (lemuriformes)  
Infraorder 2 Tarsiers (tarsii)  
Infraorder 3 Platyrrhine monkeys (platyrrhini) New World monkeys
Infraorder 4 Catarrhine monkeys (catarrhini) Old World monkeys, apes, people (all with close, down-pointing nostrils)
Superfamily 1 Cercopithecoids (cercopithecoidea) = Old World monkeys
Superfamily 2 Hominoids (hominoidea) = Hominids + Pongids (apes) Click me. (Caution Hominoids are collectively often called "apes" even though "apes" also refers specifically to pongids!)
Family 1 Hylobatids (hylobatidae) = lesser apes
Family 2 Pongids (pongidae) = orangs (Click me.)
Family 3 Hominids (hominidae) = Homo + Australopithecus + gorillas + chimps (Click me.)
Subfamily 1 Gorillas & Chimps = great apes (minus orangs)
Subfamily 2 Hominines (homininae) = Australopithicus + Homo
(plural: genera)
Humans (Homo) Remember: It is customary always to write the genus name with a capital letter and the species name with a lower-case letter.
Subgenus (or species) 1 Homo habilis  
Subgenus (or species) 2 Homo erectus/ergaster "Java Man," "Peking Man" &c. Click me.
Subgenus (or species) 3 Homo heidelbergensis = Homo rhodesiensis
Species 4 Homo sapiens = modern humans
Species 5 Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) = Neanderthals only Click me.
Species 6 Homo antecessor = pre-Neanderthals in Spain
Species 7 Homo altai = Neanderthal-like Denisovans
Species 8 Homo floresiensis ="dwarf" forms in Indonesia


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