Elephas recki
KNMER 63491
Age approx. 3.60 Million Years Digital Capture: Structured Light Scanner

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This specimen is the upper two tooth rows of an elephant of the genus Elephas. At 3.6 million years it is one of the early forms of Elephas recki (aff. Elephas Recki brumpti). The teeth in wear are probably the 4th or 5th molars. 

Elephant teeth are specialized for grinding up large amounts of coarse plant matter and so a single tooth has multiple lamellae which are the enamel ridges which serve as specialized grinding surfaces. As the elephant ages its new teeth move forward into the tooth rows as the older teeth are worn town and break apart at the front of their jaws. 


Area 40 is to the north of Ileret and this specimen was found in deposits that lie below the Moiti Tuff (Dated at 3.4 Ma).


Eight distinct elephantid subspecies are recognized from the Plio-Pleistocene sequence east of Lake Turkana, three of these are Loxodoonta: Loxodontaadauroraadaurora, L. adaurorakararae, L. exoptata, and three are Elephas: Elephasreckibrumpti, E. reckishungurensis, E. reckiatavus, E. reckiileretensis, and E. reckirecki.


The specimens displayed on this site are published specimens unless otherwise indicated. The information about the artifacts on this site is of a general nature only and unless otherwise indicated, has been written either by members of the African Fossils team, the National Museums of Kenya or the Turkana Basin Institute. The printed models are not of a high enough resolution to enable accurate scientific measurements and have generated using photogrammetry and in some cases low resolution digital models have been generated using laser scanners.

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