25. Earliest Homo

  1. David R. Begun
  1. Friedemann Schrenk

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch25

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

How to Cite

Schrenk, F. (2013) Earliest Homo, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch25

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444331165

Online ISBN: 9781118332344



  • Australopithecus;
  • Homo habilis;
  • Homo rudolfensis;
  • earliest Homo;
  • hominin fossils


Hominin fossils are generally assigned to the genus Homo if they possess a brain size above 600 cc. To date the hypodigm of earliest Homo contains about 200 skeletal fragments attributable to about 40 individuals and assigned to Homo habilis sensu strict and Homo rudolfensis. While Homo rudolfensis exhibits a combination of primitive dentition with a Homo-like locomotory system, Homo habilis exhibits advanced reduction of tooth roots but displays more ape-like than human features in the postcranial skeleton. The chapter finally presents a discussion on the brain size, jaws and teeth, and postcranial evidence of these species, which are compared with that of the Australopithecus species.