Hominid cranium from Omo: Description and taxonomy of Omo-323-1976-896



Omo-323-1976-896, a partial hominid cranium dated to ca. 2.1 from the Member G, Unit G-8 of the Shungura Formation, lower Omo Basin of Ethiopia, is described. It is suggested that the specimen is an adult male based on the well-developed and completely fused sagittal crest; heavily worn teeth; relatively large canine; and size of the articular eminence. Omo-323 consists of fragments of the frontal, both temporals, occipital, parietals, and the right maxilla, and is attributed to Australopithecus boisei, making it the oldest known cranium of this species. The specimen shares features with Australopithecus aethiopicus (KNM-WT 17000), thus supporting the existence of an evolving East African robust lineage between ca. 2.6–1.2 Ma. The morphology of Omo-323 increases our knowledge of the intraspecific variability of A.boisei. Am J Phys Anthropol 117:103–112, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.