Subspecies (science Def.)
A subdivision of a species of organisms, usually based on geographic distribution. The subspecies name is written in lowercase italics following the species name. For example, Gorilla gorilla gorilla is the western lowland gorilla, and Gorilla gorilla graueri is the eastern lowland gorilla.
Note: Subspecies is usually a natural division based on geography – so we might designate African Homo erectus and Asian Homo erectus as subspecies of H. erectus, but the problem is, which one is the “original”? Is African Homo erectus the original species, with Asian (and a possible “mess” of other fossil groups), a subspecies?
We have the same problem in “our” species designations: Homo sapiens sapiens is a subspecies of Homo sapiens, which is terribly confusing – just who is the “original” Homo sapiens? (One must consider, given EuroAmerican prerogative in these matters, that Homo sapiens sapiens = “white EuroAmericans”)
Up until widespread “globalization” – world travel – Asian Homo sapiens sapiens would have been geographically isolated from other groups, such as European Homo sapiens sapiens, for both to be designated as “subspecies” – along with other many other geographic subspecies.
Speciation would likely have followed, if world-wide migration and travel had not occurred.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
An evolutionary history of Homo sapiens must explain the range of physical differences that are expressed in individuals, despite low genetic diversity for our species (and apes in general) Despite differences, reproduction is successful between Homo sapiens across regional (geographic and climatic) types – previously designated as “races” – race is a “social” category, and is not based in science, but in social prejudice, as are too many invalid “concepts” about Homo sapiens.
Size diversity within Homo sapiens is extreme.
Size diversity in domestic dog breeds is extreme. Most dog breeds have been “created” by humans in the previous 100 years.
A Wolf species was the wild genetic reservoir for modern dogs, a gene reservoir manipulated by humans for specific physical and behavioral characteristics, especially for arrested development, from puppyhood to “almost” adult behavior.
Was Homo erectus the wild genetic reservoir for Neanderthal, Homo sapiens and a confusing array of fossil humans (“Bones of Contention”) that are classified and reclassified as separate species?