1Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University, 2Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, 3Turkana Basin Institute, Kenya, 4Department of Geology & Geophysics, University of Utah, 5IDPAS, Stony Brook University, 6Anthropology and Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution
March 27, 2015 2:15, Grand Ballroom E/F/G
Field expeditions in 2012-2013 to the Turkana Basin, Kenya, under the aegis of the Koobi Fora Research Project, recovered new hominin fossils from two sites in the Kolom Odiet area near Ileret. Three individuals are represented: a nearly complete mandibular dentition (KNM-ER 64060), and two partial skeletons (KNM-ER 64061 and KNM-ER 64062). KNM-ER 64060 and 64061 are dated to 2.02-2.03 Ma, and KNM-ER 64062 dates to 1.82-1.86 Ma. All teeth except the right central incisor are preserved in KNM-ER 64060, which is attributed to the genus Homo on the basis of morphology and metrics. KNM-ER 64061 preserves most of both humeral diaphyses, a nearly complete right ulna, much of the right clavicle, a right scapular glenoid, and numerous other fragments. The long bones are relatively gracile but possess thick cortices in cross-section. KNM-ER 64062 preserves a distal humerus, a left scaphoid and a partial right foot that includes a calcaneus, talus, cuboid, navicular, intermediate and lateral cuneiforms, the hallucal metatarsal and its proximal phalanx, and parts of the four lesser metatarsals. The scaphoid resembles those of other early hominins (e.g., STW 618, LB 1). The foot bones display a mix of primitive and derived features. The hallux and talus are similar to those from Dmanisi; the navicular sports a large tuberosity and is pinched laterally. The calcaneus has an inflated tuber with both plantar processes and – like the cuboid – is modern in appearance. Overall, the morphologies of KNM-ER 64061 and KNM-ER 64062 suggest they both represent early Homo.
Supported by the National Geographic Society and the Turkana Basin Institute.