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edit locality LO-6N, Lomekwi

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Human Fossil Record by Henry Gilbert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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Approximate age:3,500,000 years old=average of minimum (3.4 Ma) and maximum (3.6 Ma)

Date based on: K-Ar See map of sites with similar ages

Dating reference: Leakey, M. G., Spoor, F., Brown, F. H., Gathogo, P. N., Kiarie, C., Leakey, L. N., et al. (2001). New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages. Nature, 410(6827), 433-440.

Hominids: Australopithecus afarensis       

Archaeology:      

Important specimens: distorted cranium KNM-WT 40000, right temporal bone KNM-WT 40001, right maxilla fragment KNM-WT 38343A

Notes: Kenyanthropus platyops type site. KNM-WT 40000

Location: Kataboi Member, West Turkana, Nachukui Formation, other platyops specimens (paratype) from lower Lomekwi Member, Kenya
Map location/coordinates reference: Leakey, M. G., Spoor, F., Brown, F. H., Gathogo, P. N., Kiarie, C., Leakey, L. N., et al. (2001). New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages. Nature, 410(6827), 433-440.

Key references: Spoor, F., Leakey, M. G., & Leakey, L. N. (2010). Hominin diversity in the Middle Pliocene of eastern Africa: the maxilla of KNM-WT 40000. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 356(1556), 3377-3388. Abstract The 3.5-Myr-old hominin cranium KNM-WT 40000 from Lomekwi, west of Lake Turkana, has been assigned to a new hominin genus and species, Kenyanthropus platyops, on the basis of a unique combination of derived facial and primitive neurocranial features. Central to the diagnosis of K. platyops is the morphology of the maxilla, characterized by a flat and relatively orthognathic subnasal region, anteriorly placed zygomatic processes and small molars. To study this morphology in more detail, we compare the maxillae of African Plio-Pleistocene hominin fossils and samples of modern humans, chimpanzees and gorillas, using conventional and geometric morphometric methods. Computed tomography scans and detailed preparation of the KNM-WT 40000 maxilla enable comprehensive assessment of post-mortem changes, so that landmark data characterizing the morphology can be corrected for distortion. Based on a substantially larger comparative sample than previously available, the results of statistical analyses show that KNM-WT 40000 is indeed significantly different from and falls outside the known range of variation of species of Australopithecus and Paranthropus, contemporary Australopithecus afarensis in particular. These results support the attribution of KNM-WT 40000 to a separate species and the notion that hominin taxonomic diversity in Africa extends back well into the Middle Pliocene.   

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