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Journal Article

Distinct mandibular premolar crown morphology in Homo naledi and its implications for the evolution of Homo species in southern Africa

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Davies,  Thomas W.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
The Leipzig School of Human Origins (IMPRS), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Gunz,  Philipp
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Hublin,  Jean-Jacques
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Skinner,  Matthew M.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

Davies_Distinct_SciRep_2020.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)

Davies_Distinct_SciRep_2020_Suppl.pdf
(Supplementary material), 2MB

Citation

Davies, T. W., Delezene, L. K., Gunz, P., Hublin, J.-J., Berger, L. R., Gidna, A., et al. (2020). Distinct mandibular premolar crown morphology in Homo naledi and its implications for the evolution of Homo species in southern Africa. Scientific Reports, 10: 13196. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-69993-x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-D1B6-0
Abstract
Homo naledi displays a combination of features across the skeleton not found in any other hominin taxon, which has hindered attempts to determine its placement within the hominin clade. Using geometric morphometrics, we assess the morphology of the mandibular premolars of the species at the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ). Comparing with specimens of Paranthropus, Australopithecus and Homo (n = 97), we find that the H. naledi premolars from the Dinaledi chamber consistently display a suite of traits (e.g., tall crown, well-developed P3 and P4 metaconid, strongly developed P3 mesial marginal ridge, and a P3 > P4 size relationship) that distinguish them from known hominin groups. Premolars from a second locality, the Lesedi Chamber, are consistent with this morphology. We also find that two specimens from South Africa, SK 96 (usually attributed to Paranthropus) and Stw 80 (Homo sp.), show similarities to the species, and we discuss a potential evolutionary link between H. naledi and hominins from Sterkfontein and Swartkrans.