Know Your Hominin: A.L. 666-1

A.L. 666-1 was discovered in 1994 in Hadar, Ethiopia. It dates to ~2·33 MYA and has been attributed to Homo habilis. A number of Oldowan flakes and choppers were found as well.

AL 666-1(From Kimbel et al 1996)


Kimbel et al 1996 Late Pliocene Homo and Oldowan Tools from the Hadar Formation (Kada Hadar Member), Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 31: 549–561

Kimbel et al 1997 Systematic Assessment of a Maxilla of Homo From Hadar, Ethiopia. AJPA 103:235–262

Begging for Articles: Australopithecus sediba

Can someone send me the Australopithecus sediba papers that are published in the current issue of Science? links are below

The Vertebral Column of Australopithecus sediba

The Lower Limb and Mechanics of Walking in Australopithecus sediba

The Upper Limb of Australopithecus sediba

Mosaic Morphology in the Thorax of Australopithecus sediba

Mandibular Remains Support Taxonomic Validity of Australopithecus sediba

Dental Morphology and the Phylogenetic “Place” of Australopithecus sediba
I have them now, thanks!
My email address is on the “About” tab.

Know Your Hominin OH-65

OH-65 was found in 1995 in the Upper Bed I at Olduvai Gorge. It dates to 1.942-1.785 mya. OH-65 is a nearly complete maxilla that has been attributed to Homo habilis. It’s morpholoogy is similar to that of KNM-ER 1470 and the authors of the paper announcing the find use that similary to make two arguments.


This overall concordance of the ER 1470 and OH 65 morphologies with that of the type specimen of H. habilis casts doubt on H. rudolfensis as a biologically valid taxon. Consequently, H. rudolfensis (Alexeev) Groves would be a junior synonym for H. habilis Leakey, Tobias, and Napier …


The architectural similarities between OH-65 and ER 1470 support the judgement that late Pliocene hominids from Olduvai Gorge and East Lake Turkana usually assigned to H. habilis instead represent more than one species…

On the surface these seem to be contradictory arguments unless they are arguing that because H. rudolfensis is a junior synonym for H. habilis the species in the H. rudolfensis group have to be named something else. At any rate, below is a picture of OH-65.
OH-65 (Picture Source)

Literature Cited

Blumenschine et al 2003 Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Blumenschine et al 2003 Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania Supplemental Online Material

Know Your Hominin: Regourdou 1

(Picture Source)

Regourdou 1 is a partial neanderthal skeleton discovered in 1957 near Lascaux. Also discovered were the pedal remains of a second individual.


Volpato et al (2012) Hand to Mouth in a Neandertal: Right-Handedness in Regourdou 1

What Did Australopithecus sediba Eat?

The answer may surprise you, or not. A new paper in Nature provides some insight into Australopithecus sediba’s diet. I don’t have access to Nature but Science Daily has the press release where we learn:

The researchers concluded from their scientific tests that bark and other fracture-resistant foods were at least a seasonal part of the A. sediba diet. While bark and woody tissues had not been previously documented as a dietary component of any other ancient African hominids, such foods are consumed by many contemporary primates and contain both protein and soluble sugars. The diet of A. sediba may have been similar to that of today’s African savanna chimpanzees, Sandberg said.

Researchers performed stable isotope analysis, analyzed phytoliths trapped in dental plaque, and examined microwear on the teeth of Au. sediba to arrive at those conclusions. I have to agree with Matt Sponheimer on this:

“What fascinates me is that these individuals are oddballs,” said CU-Boulder’s Sponheimer. “I had pretty much convinced myself that after four million years ago most of our hominid kin had diets that were different from living apes, but now I am not so sure. And while our sample is too small to be conclusive, the rate at which Malapa is spewing hominid fossils makes me reasonably certain we won’t have to wait another two million years to augment our data set. “

As mentioned above I don’t have access to Nature so can some one send me a copy of the article? My email address is on the “about” tab and the article can be found at DOI: 10.1038/nature11185.

The Metopic Suture of Taung

A recent article in PNAS looks at the metopic suture on the Taung endocast. Before discussing the article a few words are in order about the frontal bone. Continue reading

Know Your Hominin: The Dederiyeh Neanderthal Infant

The Dederiyeh Neanderthal infant was found in Dederiyeh Cave, in Syria, in 1993. The skelton is that of a two year old and dates to 50,000-70,000 years ago.

Source: Akazawa et al 1995 Neanderthal infant burial from the Dederiyeh cave in Syria


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