Thursday, 16 August 2012

Evolution: Bones 10 Kilometres from Each Other Will a Skull Make

The reconstruction of KNM-ER 1470. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

In 1972 Richard Leakey’s research team found parts of a skull. At first, the fossil was assumed to be 2.6 million years old but the skull was too human-like to fit into the evolutionary view of human ancestry. Thus, after a very long debate it lost almost a million years of its age and is now dated at 1.9 million years and known as Homo rudolfensis.

The skull is known as KNM-ER 1470 (KNM stands for Kenya National Museum where the skull is kept, ER means East Rudolph or the area in which it was found, and 1470 is the museum’s serial number.)

Last week Meave Leakey and colleagues published an article in the journal Nature on a new bone that they found over ten kilometres (six miles) from the place KNM-ER 1470 was found. They say that the piece fits into the skull.

Homo rudolfensis is a rather interesting skull as different researchers have seen it in very different ways, depending on how they fill the empty space between the bones.


Choi, Charles. 2012. New Flat-Faced Human Species Possibly Discovered. Life Science (8 August).