• Australopithecine;
  • Pelvis;
  • Bipedalism;
  • Swartkrans


A recently discovered hominid pelvic fragment from Swartkrans (SK 3155) is described in detail with particular reference to the relationship of the two presently recognized forms of australopithecines in South Africa. Results of this examination and metrical analysis indicate that the acetabulum and iliac blade of the early hominids are similar to Homo sapiens except for a unique pattern of traits: a relatively small sacral articular surface, a relatively small acetabulum, a relatively large iliac fossa, and wide lateral splaying of the iliac blades. The new Swartkrans fossil expresses these traits more strongly than does the gracile australopithecine (Sts 14) and is therefore somewhat less similar to Homo sapiens but it is very unlike any pongid.