Meganthropus africanus Weinert, 1950
Year: 1950
Taxonomic Rank: Species
Holotype: Garusi I
Status: Suppressed

Weinert (1950, p. 139) established the name Meganthropus africanus for the Garusi I maxilla, based on similarities with forms of Meganthropus from Indonesia. Later, Johanson, White & Coppens (1978) erected Australopithecus afarensis and included Garusi 1 in the hypodigm. Johanson et al. (1978) considered the Garusi 1 specimen to belong to the genus Australopithecus and thus could not transfer Weinert’s name “africanus” without creating a homonym. For that reason, they established the new species name “afarensis”.

Groves (1996) formally requested that the ICZN suppress the name Meganthropus africanus and grant priority to Australopithecus afarensis. This appeal was made in case number 2998, with comments from White et al. (1998) and approved by ICZN in 1999 as opinion number 1941. In their final opinion, the ICZN ruled that the name africanus Weinert 1950 is formally suppressed for the purposes of the Principle of Priority but not for those of the Principle of Homonymy. The same ruling also acknowledged the name afarensis, Johanson 1978 with the specimens L.H. 4 as the lectotype. Groves (1999) reviews the nomenclatural history.

See entry for Australopithecus afarensis.

Authorship Reference
H. Weinert
Über die neuen Vor- und Frühmenschenfunde aus Afrika, Java, China, und Frankreich
Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie, 42, 138-148, 1950