Back in December, I noted the announcement of a new species of raccoon dog (Nyctereutes lockwoodi). The paper is now online and, as we suspected, the species is “[n]amed after the late Charles Lockwood, for his contribution to our knowledge of the genus Australopithecus in South and East Africa as well as his role in the exploration of the morphological temporal trends of A. afarensis in the Hadar Formation.” As it happens, Bill Kimbel and I are currently putting the finishing touches to our final manuscript with Charlie. More of that later, no doubt.
Ref: Gerrads et al., (2010) “Nyctereutes lockwoodi, n. sp., a New Canid (Carnivora: Mammalia) from the Middle Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia.” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30(3):981-987. doi: 10.1080/02724631003758326
From the California Academy of Sciences:
This year, [Zeray] Alemseged and his colleagues report the only new mammal species on the Academy’s list: a raccoon dog (Nyctereutes lockwoodi) from 3.3 million years ago. Described from a nearly complete skull and fragments of others, this small, omnivorous mammal is a member of the canid family, which includes dogs, wolves, and foxes. Fossil raccoon dogs have been uncovered throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa, but only one species remains today (N. procyonoides, native to East Asia). This extant species gets its common name from its raccoon-like coloring but is not closely related to raccoons—its closest living relatives are thought to be foxes. It forms monogamous pair bonds and is the only member of the dog family to hibernate in the winter.
(HT to Afarensis who notes that the species is probably named after my late buddy and collaborator, Charlie Lockwood. As I haven’t seen the paper – apparently in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology – I cannot confirm that).
My colleague and friend Kaye Reed has a nice remembrance of Charlie Lockwood in the current issue of Evolutionary Anthropology. I had reason to mention Charlie during my “Last Lecture” and will admit to getting a little choked-up. The article is unfortunately behind a paywall, but any good university library should have access.
[Over eight years ago, I edited a series of facsimile editions of works written by scriptural geologists. The set was titled "Creationism and Scriptural Geology, 1814-1857" and was published by Thoemmes Press at a price that put it out of range for all except libraries. What follows below is the introduction from the series. I have added some hyperlinks and done some light editing.]
“Follies of the present day”: Scriptural Geology from 1817 to 1857
“There is a prejudice against the speculations of the geologist, which I am anxious to remove. It has been said that they nurture infidel propensities. It has been alleged that geology, by referring the origin of the globe to a higher antiquity than is assigned to it by the writings of Moses, undermines our faith in the inspiration of the Bible, and in all the animating prospects of the immortality which it unfolds. This is a false alarm. The writings of Moses do not fix the antiquity of the globe.” 
So spoke the Scottish theologian, Thomas Chalmers in 1804. During the winter of 1803-’04, Chalmers presented a series of lectures at St. Andrews during which he outlined a reconciliation of the apparent incompatibility between the Genesis account of creation and the findings of the developing science of geology. He argued that the language of scripture allowed for an indefinite gap between the first and second verses of chapter I. This in turn allowed for a time in which geological formation could occur before the traditional six-day creation which, in this view, represented a restoration of the whole Earth after aeons of activity and eventual devastation. Chalmers’ ideas – on geology, natural theology and revelation – would eventually be expanded into The Evidence and Authority of the Christian Revelation , and his “Gap theory”, as it became known, aimed to show that Genesis and geology could live side-by-side, once one was willing to interpret the scriptures to allow for the apparent age of the Earth. Thus Chalmers could argue that geology does not lead to “infidel propensities” for the very reason that the text of Genesis never explicitly set the time of creation, unlike specific chronologies from such individuals as Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh.
Very sad news for those of us who do physical anthropology. Charles (“Charlie”) Lockwood (University College London) was killed today in a motorcycle accident in London. He is survived by his parents and sisters.
Charlie was a talented morphologist both in the sense of being a descriptive anatomist and quantitative biologist. I met him in the late 90′s when he came to ASU’s Institute of Origins for a post-doc after completing his PhD at the University of Witwatersrand. He, Bill Kimbel and I shared the pain of rejected NSF grant proposals before receiving NSF money to study the use of geometric morphometrics to study temporal bone variation in hominins. Three papers resulted:
Lockwood,C.A., Lynch,J.M., Kimbel,W.H. (2002). Quantifying temporal bone morphology of great apes and humans: An approach using geometric morphometrics. Journal of Anatomy 201(6), 447-464.
Lockwood,C.A., Kimbel,W.H., Lynch,J.M. (2004). Morphometrics and hominoid phylogeny: Support for a chimpanzee-human clade and differentiation among great ape subspecies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101(13), 4356-4360.
Lockwood,C.A., Kimbel,W.H., Lynch,J.M. (2005). Variation in early hominin temporal bone morphology and its implications for species diversity. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 60(2), 73-77.
There was other research we intended to do but, somehow, with Charlie’s move to London in 2004 and all that involved, we never got round to it. He was soon to be returning to South Africa to take a position at Wits. I’m proud to have known Charlie as a colleague and a friend. He will be missed.