Associated ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, and postcranial diversity in early Homo

Carol V. Ward, Craig S. Feibel, Ashley S. Hammond, Louise N. Leakey, Elizabeth A. Moffett, J. Michael Plavcan, Matthew M. Skinner, Fred Spoor, Meave G. Leakey

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28 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the evolution of hominins, it is generally accepted that there was a shift in postcranial morphology between Australopithecus and the genus Homo. Given the scarcity of associated remains of early Homo, however, relatively little is known about early Homo postcranial morphology. There are hints of postcranial diversity among species, but our knowledge of the nature and extent of potential differences is limited. Here we present a new associated partial ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dating to 1.9 Ma (millions of years ago) that is clearly attributable to the genus Homo but documents a pattern of morphology not seen in eastern African early Homo erectus. The ilium and proximal femur share distinctive anatomy found only in Homo. However, the geometry of the femoral midshaft and contour of the pelvic inlet do not resemble that of any specimens attributed to H.erectus from eastern Africa. This new fossil confirms the presence of at least two postcranial morphotypes within early Homo, and documents diversity in postcranial morphology among early Homo species that may reflect underlying body form and/or adaptive differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-67
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

Keywords

  • Early pleistocene
  • Eastern Africa
  • Hominin
  • Pelvis
  • Postcrania

Cite this

Ward, C. V., Feibel, C. S., Hammond, A. S., Leakey, L. N., Moffett, E. A., Plavcan, J. M., Skinner, M. M., Spoor, F., & Leakey, M. G. (2015). Associated ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, and postcranial diversity in early Homo. Journal of Human Evolution, 81, 48-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.01.005