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Paranthropus boisei

'Nut cracker'


Period: Middle Pleistocene

Family: Hominidae

Genus: Paranthropus

Species: boisei

Collection Date: 1969

Collector: Richard and Meave Leakey

Localization: East Turkana

Site Reference: Illeret, Area 10

Reference: B. Wood and Daniel Lieberman, 2001

Catalogue: # KNM-ER406

1.8 million to 700 thousand years ago


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Description Summary

This fossil was discovered by Richard and Meave Leakey in 1969 in Illeret, East Tulkana. It belongs to a male indivdual and has a striking characteristic of having a very pronounced sagittal crest and zygomatic arches.

Middle Pleistocene

Climate swings became more extreme during this period, and there was also more significant adaptive radiation of animal life. Our lineage also became more diverse with more than 10 known hominin species known across the world from this time. Brain sizes in hominins began to get larger. At the same time, human technologies became more diverse and took more planning and skill to make. This ability to plan along with improved locomotion enabled hominins to leave Africa for the first time.