D I A G N O S T I C F E AT U R E S

• Cranium size w/in A. afarensis & A. africanus range • molar enamel comparable to A. anamensis & A. afarensis Lacks derived facial features of P. aethiopicus, P. boisei, & P. robustus

cranial
• • • • •

tall malar region zygomaticoaveolar crest low & curved nasal cavity entrance stepped palate roof: thin, flexed anteriorly to incisive foramen tympanic element mediolaterally long & lacking petrous crest

• transversely flat midface • external acoustic porus small • absence of occipital/marginal venous system • moderate subnasal prognathism • nasoalveolar clivus long & flat w/out marked juga • maxillary zygomatic process: anterior surface positioned over premolars & more verticallyoriented differs from A. afarensis:

Kenyanthropus platyops
Timespan: Region: Specimens: Discovered: 3.3– 3.5 mya Holotype: KNM -WT-4000 suggested ancestor to H. rudolfensis Woodland Unknown West Turkana, East Africa Lineage: 2 individuals Leakey 2001 Environment: Diet:

differs from A. anamensis, A. africanus, A. garhi

more derived facially but more primitive cranial features

dentition
• M1 & M2 small crowns • I 1 & I2 roots near equal in size • P3 & P4 3-rooted • M1 & M2 thick enamel • incisor alveoli parallel w/ bicanine line

differs from Ar. ramidus

Speculation/theories:
• • • • facial features show that orthonagthism evolved earlier than prev assumed; new genus increases diversity in Pliocene (as expected); diet-driven adaptive radiation affinity w/ H. rudolfensis strong, some suggest reclassification as K. rudolfensis taxonomic classification highly controversial, many suggest KNM-WT-4000 too distorted to diagnose; suggest simply A. afarensis (White 2003)

{

• buccolingually narrow M2 • thick molar enamel • tepmoral bone w/ more cylindrical articular eminence • deeper mandibular fossa

Lacks derived cranial features of H. erectus & H. sapiens

• similar facial architecture (incl flat orthognathic nasoalveolar clivus) • more primitive nasal and neurocranial morphology • lacks derived shot nasal bones & everted lateral nasal margin

}

compared to H. rudolfensis

KEY SPECIMENS
• KNM-WT-4000 – cranium, highly distorted. Preserved in 2 pieces (neurocranium w/ superior & lateral orbital margins but cranial base missing; and face) ◦ Aprox 3.5 mya ◦ Cranial capacity of 350 cc (estimating difficult due to condition of skull) Found w/ well-preserved temporal bone, two partial maxillae, & isolated teeth (not yet assigned to K. platyops) • KNM-WT-38350 – partial left maxilla, found in 1998 ◦ Aprox 3.3 mya

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ackerman, R. and R. Smith (2007) The Macroevolution of our Ancient Lineage: What We Know (or Think We Know) about Early Hominin Diversity, Evolutionary Biology 34: 72-85 Begun, D. (2004) The Earliest Hominins— Is Less More?, Science 303: 1478-1450 Gee, H. (2001) Return to the planet of the apes, Nature 412: 131-132 Gibbons, Anne (2002) In search of the first hominids, Science 295: 1214-1219 Cameron, D. (2003). Early hominin speciation at the Plio/Pleistocene transition. HOMO-Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 54(1), 1–28. Collard, M, and B. Wood (2007) Hominin homoiology: An assessment of the impact of phenotypic plasticity on phylogenetic analyses of humans and their fossil relatives, Journal of Human Evolution 52: 573-584 Leakey, M. G., et al (2001). New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages. Nature, 410(6827), 433-40 Lieberman, D. E. (2001). Another face in our family tree, Nature 410 White, T. (2003). Early Hominids — Diversity or Distortion?, Science 473(2001), 4-6.

MAJOR SITES
• Lomekwi, West Turkana, Kenya – localities between Lomekwi & Topernawi river drainages in northern Kenya ◦ KNM-WT-4000 found in Kataboi Member, below Tulu Bor Tuff & above Locochot Tuff

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