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Journal Article

Unexpected hard-object feeding in Western lowland gorillas

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van Casteren,  Adam       
Max Planck Weizmann Center for integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Wright,  Edward
Gorillas, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Kupczik,  Kornelius       
Max Planck Weizmann Center for integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Robbins,  Martha M.       
Gorillas, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

van Casteren, A., Wright, E., Kupczik, K., & Robbins, M. M. (2019). Unexpected hard-object feeding in Western lowland gorillas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 170(3), 433-438. doi:10.1002/ajpa.23911.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-936C-D
Abstract
The cranial morphology of the earliest known hominins in the genus Australopithecus remains unclear. The oldest species in this genus (Australopithecus anamensis, specimens of which have been dated to 4.2–3.9 million years ago) is known primarily from jaws and teeth, whereas younger species (dated to 3.5–2.0 million years ago) are typically represented by multiple skulls. Here we describe a nearly complete hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) that we date to 3.8 million years ago. We assign this cranium to A. anamensis on the basis of the taxonomically and phylogenetically informative morphology of the canine, maxilla and temporal bone. This specimen thus provides the first glimpse of the entire craniofacial morphology of the earliest known members of the genus Australopithecus. We further demonstrate that A. anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis differ more than previously recognized and that these two species overlapped for at least 100,000 years—contradicting the widely accepted hypothesis of anagenesis.