Reanalysis of the Lukeino molar (KNM-LU 335)

Authors

  • Peter S. Ungar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
    • Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710
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  • Alan Walker,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
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  • Katherine Coffing

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
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Abstract

This paper details a reanalysis of KNM-LU 335, a hominoid mandibular first molar dated to about 6 Ma from the Lukeino Formation, Kenya. Researchers have argued that this molar closely resembles those of modern chimpanzees and may approximate the ancestral morphotype of humans and chimpanzees. The investigation presented here describes a morphometric study of the Lukeino molar and M1S of Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, and early australopithecines. Results indicate that KNM-LU 335 differs from both human and chimpanzee M1S in relative distances (measured in three dimensions) between crown fissure termini. Further, the Lukeino molar shares with early australopithecines a pronounced flaring of the buccal surface of the crown not seen for either modern sample. Results of this study do not exclude KNM-LU 335 as a potential ancestral morphotype for Pan and Homo but provide no evidence that this morphotype resembled modern chimpanzees. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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