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J Hum Evol. 2017 Aug 23. pii: S0047-2484(17)30315-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.07.008. [Epub ahead of print]

New fossils of Australopithecus anamensis from Kanapoi, West Turkana, Kenya (2012-2015).

Author information

1
Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, M263 Medical Sciences Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA. Electronic address: Wardcv@missouri.edu.
2
Department of Anthropology, 330 Old Main, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA.
3
Department of Earth Sciences, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658, Nairobi, Kenya.

Abstract

Kanapoi, Kenya, has yielded the earliest evidence of the genus Australopithecus, Australopithecus anamensis. Renewed fieldwork from 2012 through 2015 yielded 18 new fossils attributable to this species. The new specimens include the second maxillary fragment known from a Kanapoi hominin and the first from a relatively young adult. The new maxilla has the distinctive rounded nasal aperture margin characteristic of A. anamensis. A second partial proximal tibia from the site is the first postcranial element from a small A. anamensis individual. A new partial mandible and complete mandibular dentition display distinctive Kanapoi hominin morphology, but the mandible displays a larger trigonid on its fourth premolar than any known so far. Two new complete sets of mandibular incisors are also notably large, especially the lateral ones, a distinctive feature of A. anamensis compared with Australopithecus afarensis. The new fossils also highlight the distinctive morphology of Kanapoi A. anamensis compared to later hominins.

KEYWORDS:

Dentition; Early hominins; Mandible; Maxilla; Pliocene; Tibia

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