Paranthropus aethiopicus
KNMWT 17000
Age approx. 2.52 Million Years Digital Capture: Photogrammetry
Black Skull

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This impressive, relatively complete skull is very dark in color and is therefore referred to as the "Black Skull". This find was made by Alan Walker, in 1985, near Nariokotome, on the west side of Lake Turkana. It is distinctive in its pronounced sagittal crest that runs along the top of the skull serving as an attachment for large chewing muscles. This species is a predecessor to Paranthropus boisei, but has a smaller brain and with a face that protrudes even further. This skull lacks teeth but its enormous tooth roots are visible in the palate, indicating that the teeth would have been of similar large size to the later forms. Paranthropus aethiopicus is the ancestor to Paranthropus boisei and lived about 2.5 million years ago, a time that is poorly represented at Lake Turkana. Such a complete find is therefore highly significant.


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.

The information in this site is subject to change without notice.

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