Chapter 7 East Africa and the Sahel.A Multitude of Australopiths

Chapter 7 East Africa and the Sahel.A Multitude of Australopiths

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 7 – East Africa and the Sahel: A Multitude of Australopiths A Half-Century of Australopiths from East Africa and the Sahel - East Africa contains six genera and eleven species of australopiths (the most well0known being Australopithecus afarensis and Paranthropus boisei) Discoveries at Olduvai - The Olduvai Gorge, a dry river canyon in northern Tanzania, described by Louis Leakey as “a veritable paradise for the prehistorian as well as for the paleontologist” Discovery of Paranthropus boisei - By 1959, Louis and Mary Leakey had found a small collection of stone implements, referred to as the Oldowan tool industry , the earliest known stone-tool culture (2.5 million years ago) - A skull discovered in 1959 was the oldest hominin skull found to that time in Eastern Africa. It resembled Paranthropus robustus, but the face was more massive, and the back teeth were larger. This was was Paranthropus boisei (dates to 1.75 mya) - Whether or not the stone tools belonged to Paranthropus or early Homo is still unresolved Fossils from Kenya and Ethiopia Reveal Details of P. boisei Anatomy - The Omo River Valley, to the north of the Olduvai Gorge, produced numerous specimens attributable to P. boisei - Population analysis of P. boisei reveal its similary to P. robustus, having a bony crest at the top of the skull, but more pronounced for the anchoring of bigger muscles to work the jaw which had larger molars Australopithecus afarensis: A Second Australopith from Ethiopia - The Ethiopian site of Hadar yielded a number of important fossil finds - A hominin knee joint dating to 3 mya was evidence of habitual bipedialism (close knee stance and erect walking position) - A small Australopithecus (Lucy) showed habitual bipedalism but had a primitive skull - Don Johanson, who discovered Lucy, also found a mixed collection of some 200 teeth and bone fragments which belonged to 13 australopiths, and have been called the “first family” - The Hadar australopiths date to about 2.8 to 3.3 mya, and were designated A. afarensis by Johanson - A. afarensis was characterized by pronounced sexual dimorphism, habitual bipedalism, a receded forehead, low-vaulted braincase, and apelike dentition - A. afarensis also includes fossils from Kenya, Ethiopia (which date to 4 and 4.2 mya
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ANTH 145 taught by Professor Gatewood during the Fall '07 term at Lehigh University .

Page1 / 4

Chapter 7 East Africa and the Sahel.A Multitude of Australopiths

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online