Homo habilis (OH 24) Cast Replica Skull #BH-010 | Darwin and Wallace: A Nature & Fossil Store
Homo habilis (OH 24) Cast Replica Skull #BH-010

Homo habilis (OH 24) Cast Replica Skull #BH-010

Size: 6½"L x 4½"W x 4½"H

-Species: Homo erectus

-Notes: This 1.8 million year old Homo habilis cranium (OH 24) was discovered by Peter Nzube in 1968 and first described by Clark, and Mary & Louis Leakey in Nature in 1971. This nearly complete but badly crushed specimen represented the oldest hominid found in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and supported the designation of the then controversial species of Homo habilis.

Originally, some scientists had resisted classification of Homo habilis as a new species, preferring instead to separate specimens into either A. africanus or H. erectus. Although OH 24 shares features of both species, there are marked differences. Its estimated cranial capacity of 600 cc is the minimum for classification as Homo, but the difficulties of reconstruction may have contributed to this small estimation. This individual possessed a larger brain than A. africanus, though smaller than H. erectus from China. The cranial bones are thinner than typical for australopithecines, and the braincase is wider and shorter. The facial profile of H. habilis slopes forward but projects less than in A. africanus. Some scientists believe that the range of variation of specimens once attributed to Homo habilis is too great to represent a single species; consequently, more than one species of early Homo may have lived at the same time in East Africa. Eruption of the 3rd molars suggest this individual was an adult, however they show little signs of wear, indicating that the individual must have died shortly after their eruption.

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