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Encyclopedia > Kenyanthropus platyops
Kenyanthropus platyops
Fossil range: Pliocene

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: Homininae
Genus: Kenyanthropus
Species: K. platyops
Binomial name
Kenyanthropus platyops
Leakey et al., 2001

Kenyanthropus platyops is a 3.5 to 3.2 million year old (Pliocene) extinct hominin species that was discovered in Lake Turkana, Kenya in 1999 by Justus Erus, who was part of Meave Leakey's team. [1] The fossil found features a broad flat face with a toe bone that suggests it probably walked upright. Teeth are intermediate between typical human and typical ape forms. Kenyanthropus platyops, which means "Flat faced man of Kenya", is the only described species in the genus. However, if some paleoanthropologists are correct, Kenyanthropus may not even represent a valid taxon, as the specimen (KNM-WT 40000)[2] is so distorted by matrix-filled cracks that meaningful morphologic characteristics are next to impossible to assess with confidence. It may simply be a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, which is known from the same time period and geographic area. Other researches speculate that the flatter face position of the rough cranium is similar to KNM ER 1470 "Homo rudolfensis" and suspect it to be closer to the genus Homo, perhaps being a direct ancestor. However the debate has not been concluded and the species remains an enigma. The Pliocene epoch (spelled Pleiocene in some older texts) is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5. ... Scientific classification redirects here. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria For the folk-rock band see The Mammals. ... Families 15, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all the species commonly related to the lemurs, monkeys, and apes, with the latter category including humans. ... Genera The hominids are the members of the biological family Hominidae (the great apes), which includes humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. ... Tribes Gorillini Hominini and see text Homininae is a subfamily of Hominidae, including Homo sapiens and some extinct relatives, as well as the gorillas and the chimpanzees. ... Latin name redirects here. ... The Pliocene epoch (spelled Pleiocene in some older texts) is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... Genera Gorilla Pan (chimpanzees) Homo (humans) Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Homininae is a subfamily of Hominidae, including Homo sapiens and some extinct relatives, as well as the gorillas and the chimpanzees. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... View over Lake Turkana Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya (although the far northern end of the lake crosses into Ethiopia), which covers a surface area of 6405 km² (2473 mi²), making it the worlds largest permanent desert... Events of 2008: (EMILY) Me Lesley and MIley are going to China! This article is about the year. ... Meave (Epps) Leakey (born 1942 in London, England) is together with her husband Richard Leakey one of the most renowned British paleontologists. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... A transitional fossil or transitional form is the fossilized remains of a life form that illustrates an evolutionary transition. ... This article is about modern humans. ... This article is about the biological superfamily. ... Paeloanthropology is the branch of physical anthropology that focuses on the study of human evolution. ... Binomial name Johanson & White, 1978 Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid which lived between 3. ... Binomial name †Homo rudolfensis Alexeev, 1986 Homo rudolfensis is a fossil hominin species proposed in 1986 by V. P. Alexeev for the specimen Skull 1470 (KNM ER 1470)[1]. Originally thought to be a member of the species Homo habilis, the fossil was the center of much debate concerning its... Species Homo sapiens See text for extinct species. ...

The bones discovered at the site included more than 30 skull and tooth fragments in a stratum dated to between 3.5 and 3.2 million years ago. The fossil was named the Flat Faced Man of Kenya, or Kenyanthropus platyops, by Dr. Meave Leakey, of the National Museums of Kenya. For other uses of Skull, see Skull (disambiguation). ... Teeth redirects here. ...

Dr. Leakey believes that it belongs to an entirely new genus of ancestors, and is the oldest "reasonably complete" cranium found so far. Humans were once thought to have evolved from only one member of Australopithecus afarensis, the species made famous by the fossil Lucy. But now it seems Lucy may have been sharing the woods and grass plains of prehistoric Africa with a rival. For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... Cranium can mean: The brain and surrounding skull, a part of the body. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... // Lucy may refer to: Saint Lucy, patron saint of eye conditions Shannon Spruill, American professional wrestler with the stage name Lucy Lucille Ball, American actress and comedian Lucy Booth, the fifth daughter of William and Catherine Booth Lucy Burns, American womens suffrage leader Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress Lucy... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...

Until more recent discoveries were made, it seemed as if the evolution of man might be “special” since there appeared to be only one single line of hominids leading from the most primitive to Modern Man of today. And since evolution normally proceeds in branches, multiplying as each branch divides, hominid evolution seemed for a while to be the one exception. Now, with the discovery of Kenyanthropus, the picture looks more “normal”. A hominid is any member of the biological family Hominidae (the great apes), including the extinct and extant humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Human evolution is the process of change and development, or evolution, by which human beings emerged as distinct species. ...

At present anthropologists aren’t sure how many branches there might have been 3 million years ago. Branches may have gone extinct that we haven’t yet found representatives for; but such fossils could be discovered at any time.

When learning of the discovery, Dr. Daniel Lieberman, an anthropologist at George Washington University expressed his opinion that between 3.5 and 2 million years ago there were several human-like species, each of which were well adapted to life in their particular environments. Also that, like that of many other mammalian groups, humans evolved through a series of complex radiations, known as "adaptive radiation".[3]

The Kenyanthropus fossil has a small earhole, like those of chimpanzees. It also shares many features of other primitive hominids, such as a small brain, but it also has striking differences, including high cheek bones, and a flat plane beneath its nose bone, which gives it a flat face. Type species Simia troglodytes Blumenbach, 1775 distribution of Species Pan troglodytes Pan paniscus Chimpanzee, often shortened to chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of apes in the genus Pan. ... For other uses, see Brain (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nose (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Face (disambiguation). ...


See also

List of fossil sites: // ^ http://www. ... The following charts give a brief overview of several notable primate fossil finds relating to human evolution. ...


  1. ^ Kenyanthropus platyops
  2. ^ KNM-WT 40000 is short for: Kenya National Museum (where it is housed); West Turkana (where it was found); and 40000 (the museum acquisition number)
  3. ^ BBC News (21 March 2001) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1234006.stm

Further reading

  • Leakey, Meave G.; et al. (2001). "New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages". Nature 410: 433-440. doi:10.1038/35068500. 

Nature is a prominent scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

External links

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The following charts give a brief overview of several notable primate fossil finds relating to human evolution. ... Human evolutionary genetics studies how one human genome differs from the other, the evolutionary past that gave rise to it, and its current effects. ...

  Results from FactBites:
ComDig - complexity theory, science of complexity news digest (641 words)
The Kenyanthropus platyops fossils were discovered in 1998 and 1999, with the skull found in August 1999 by Justus Erus, a Kenyan research assistant working with Meave Leakey near the Lomekwi River in the western Turkana basin in northern Kenya.
Kenyanthropus platyops resembles skull 1470 found in the eastern Turkana basin in the 1970s.
Brown, Gathogo and McDougall estimated the Kenyanthropus skull's age by indirectly dating surrounding layers of tuff, which is rock deposited when ash from volcanic eruptions in Ethiopia was carried to the Turkana region by rivers and wind.
  More results at FactBites »



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