New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages

  title={New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages},
  author={Meave G. Leakey and Fred Spoor and Francis H. Brown and Patrick N. Gathogo and Christopher Kiarie and Louise N. Leakey and Ian Mcdougall},
Most interpretations of early hominin phylogeny recognize a single early to middle Pliocene ancestral lineage, best represented by Australopithecus afarensis, which gave rise to a radiation of taxa in the late Pliocene. Here we report on new fossils discovered west of Lake Turkana, Kenya, which differ markedly from those of contemporary A. afarensis, indicating that hominin taxonomic diversity extended back, well into the middle Pliocene. A 3.5 Myr-old cranium, showing a unique combination of… 

The Pliocene hominin diversity conundrum: Do more fossils mean less clarity?

A closer look at the currently available fossil evidence from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Chad indicates that Australopithecus afarensis was not the only hominin species during the middle Pliocene, and that there were other species clearly distinguishable from it by their locomotor adaptation and diet.

A new hominin foot from Ethiopia shows multiple Pliocene bipedal adaptations

New pedal elements from a newly discovered partial hominin foot skeleton from eastern Africa show that new pedal elements belong to a species that does not match the contemporaneous Australopithecus afarensis in its morphology and inferred locomotor adaptations, but instead is more similar to the earlier Ardipithecus ramidus in possessing an opposable great toe.

A new hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa

The discovery of six hominid specimens from Chad, central Africa, 2,500 km from the East African Rift Valley, suggest that the earliest members of the hominids clade were more widely distributed than has been thought, and that the divergence between the human and chimpanzee lineages was earlier than indicated by most molecular studies.

New species from Ethiopia further expands Middle Pliocene hominin diversity

The new species from Woranso–Mille shows that there were at least two contemporaneous hominin species living in the Afar region of Ethiopia between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago, and further confirms early hom inin taxonomic diversity in eastern Africa during the Middle Pliocene epoch.

An Asian perspective on early human dispersal from Africa

It is shown here that it is time to develop alternatives to one of palaeoanthropology's most basic paradigms: ‘Out of Africa 1’.

The Biogeographic Implications of Early Hominin Phylogeny

Results indicate that hominins dispersed at least four times between African regions, and that most hominin speciation events took place in eastern Africa.

Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa

Combined craniodental and postcranial evidence demonstrates that this new species of Australopithecus shares more derived features with early Homo than any other australopith species and thus might help reveal the ancestor of that genus.

Palaeoanthropology: The middle Pliocene gets crowded

  • F. Spoor
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 2015
Another Middle Pliocene hominin, Australopithecus deyiremida, is described, which lived in Ethiopia at around the same time as Australipithecus afarensis ('Lucy') and other species such as Kenyanthropus platyops in Kenya and its morphology suggests that some dental features traditionally associated with later genera such as Paranthropus and Homo emerged earlier than previously thought.

A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia

A nearly complete hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) that is date to 3.8 million years ago is described, providing the first glimpse of the entire craniofacial morphology of the earliest known members of the genus Australopithecus.

Origins of Hominin Biocultural Diversity

A large body of evidence to date, including palaeontological, geological, environmental, archaeological, ecological and biogeographic data allow the reconstruction of the major phases of early hominin evolution, including the onset of biocultural evolution of humans in Africa.



Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia.

Discovery of 2.5 Ma hominid cranial and dental remains from the Hata beds of Ethiopia's Middle Awash allows recognition of a new species of Australopithecus, descended from Australipithecus afarensis and is a candidate ancestor for early Homo.

New four-million-year-old hominid species from Kanapoi and Allia Bay, Kenya

The mosaic of primitive and derived features shows this species to be a possible ancestor to Australopithecus afarensis and suggests that Ardipithecus ramidus is a sister species to this and all later hominids.

The new hominid species Australopithecus anamensis

The material discovered so far displays primitive features along with more derived characteristics typical of later Australopithecus species, which suggests that A. anamensis belongs near the ancestry of this genus.

Pliocene hominids from the Hadar formation, Ethiopia (1973–1977): Stratigraphic, chronologic, and paleoenvironmental contexts, with notes on hominid morphology and systematics

The large collections of fossil hominid remains from Hadar, Ethiopia, derive from the Afar Triangle of the continental East African Rift. The fossils constitute much of the paratype series of

New hominids from the Lake Turkana Basin, Kenya.

New hominid fossils from the Lake Turkana Basin range in age from ca. 3.35 to ca. 1.0 Ma. Those recovered from sediments stratigraphically just above the Tulu Bor Tuff in the Lomekwi Member of the

First hominid from the Miocene (Lukeino Formation, Kenya)

Australopithecus ramidus, a new species of early hominid from Aramis, Ethiopia

As ramidus is likely to be the sister taxon of the remaining hominid clade, generic separation from Australopithecus is appropriate.

New hominid fossils from Member 1 "Hanging Remnant", Swartkrans Formation, South Africa

Abstract Scientific work at Swartkrans has been completed recently by C. K. Brain. The hominid fossils recovered by him include a number from the Member 1 "Hanging Remnant" breccia that remain

The robust australopithecine face: a morphogenetic perspective.

The robust australopithecines were a side branch of human evolution. They share a number of unique craniodental features that suggest their monophyletic origin. However, virtually all of these traits