TUKUL 3: Palaeoanthropology

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Homo ergaster (Turkana Boy)

The Turkana Boy

One of the most spectacular and important palaeoanthropological finds in recent years was the Nariokotome Boy (KNM-WT 15000), discovered in 1984 by a team of researchers led by Richard Leakey and Alan Walker.

This find represents the most complete early hominid ever found, with almost the entire cranium and most of the postcranial material intact.

This specimen has been attributed as an adolescent male who lived in a habitat of open savannah.

Richard Leakey and Alan Walker
The Turkana Boy was initially classified as Homo erectus, but in the following years an important number of researchers attributed him to a new species, Homo ergaster, on the base of the following features: 

increased cranial breadth across the  parietal bones; 

increased occipital bone length; 

broader nasal bones; 

broader nasal opening; 

shorter cranial base; 

greater development of the mandibular symphysis; 

narrower first lower molars and lower canines. 

The skull of the Turkana Boy


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