A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia

Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Stephanie M. Melillo, Antonino Vazzana, Stefano Benazzi, Timothy M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The cranial morphology of the earliest known hominins in the genus Australopithecus remains unclear. The oldest species in this genus (Australopithecus anamensis, specimens of which have been dated to 4.2–3.9 million years ago) is known primarily from jaws and teeth, whereas younger species (dated to 3.5–2.0 million years ago) are typically represented by multiple skulls. Here we describe a nearly complete hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) that we date to 3.8 million years ago. We assign this cranium to A. anamensis on the basis of the taxonomically and phylogenetically informative morphology of the canine, maxilla and temporal bone. This specimen thus provides the first glimpse of the entire craniofacial morphology of the earliest known members of the genus Australopithecus. We further demonstrate that A. anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis differ more than previously recognized and that these two species overlapped for at least 100,000 years—contradicting the widely accepted hypothesis of anagenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume573
Issue number7773
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2019

Fingerprint

Ethiopia
Hominidae
Skull
Temporal Bone
Maxilla
Jaw
Canidae
Tooth

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Haile-Selassie, Y., Melillo, S. M., Vazzana, A., Benazzi, S., & Ryan, T. M. (2019). A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. Nature, 573(7773), 214-219. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1513-8
Haile-Selassie, Yohannes ; Melillo, Stephanie M. ; Vazzana, Antonino ; Benazzi, Stefano ; Ryan, Timothy M. / A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. In: Nature. 2019 ; Vol. 573, No. 7773. pp. 214-219.
@article{8978c1836b194ac1979c209e95619d95,
title = "A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia",
abstract = "The cranial morphology of the earliest known hominins in the genus Australopithecus remains unclear. The oldest species in this genus (Australopithecus anamensis, specimens of which have been dated to 4.2–3.9 million years ago) is known primarily from jaws and teeth, whereas younger species (dated to 3.5–2.0 million years ago) are typically represented by multiple skulls. Here we describe a nearly complete hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) that we date to 3.8 million years ago. We assign this cranium to A. anamensis on the basis of the taxonomically and phylogenetically informative morphology of the canine, maxilla and temporal bone. This specimen thus provides the first glimpse of the entire craniofacial morphology of the earliest known members of the genus Australopithecus. We further demonstrate that A. anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis differ more than previously recognized and that these two species overlapped for at least 100,000 years—contradicting the widely accepted hypothesis of anagenesis.",
author = "Yohannes Haile-Selassie and Melillo, {Stephanie M.} and Antonino Vazzana and Stefano Benazzi and Ryan, {Timothy M.}",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "12",
doi = "10.1038/s41586-019-1513-8",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "573",
pages = "214--219",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "7773",

}

Haile-Selassie, Y, Melillo, SM, Vazzana, A, Benazzi, S & Ryan, TM 2019, 'A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia', Nature, vol. 573, no. 7773, pp. 214-219. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1513-8

A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. / Haile-Selassie, Yohannes; Melillo, Stephanie M.; Vazzana, Antonino; Benazzi, Stefano; Ryan, Timothy M.

In: Nature, Vol. 573, No. 7773, 12.09.2019, p. 214-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia

AU - Haile-Selassie, Yohannes

AU - Melillo, Stephanie M.

AU - Vazzana, Antonino

AU - Benazzi, Stefano

AU - Ryan, Timothy M.

PY - 2019/9/12

Y1 - 2019/9/12

N2 - The cranial morphology of the earliest known hominins in the genus Australopithecus remains unclear. The oldest species in this genus (Australopithecus anamensis, specimens of which have been dated to 4.2–3.9 million years ago) is known primarily from jaws and teeth, whereas younger species (dated to 3.5–2.0 million years ago) are typically represented by multiple skulls. Here we describe a nearly complete hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) that we date to 3.8 million years ago. We assign this cranium to A. anamensis on the basis of the taxonomically and phylogenetically informative morphology of the canine, maxilla and temporal bone. This specimen thus provides the first glimpse of the entire craniofacial morphology of the earliest known members of the genus Australopithecus. We further demonstrate that A. anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis differ more than previously recognized and that these two species overlapped for at least 100,000 years—contradicting the widely accepted hypothesis of anagenesis.

AB - The cranial morphology of the earliest known hominins in the genus Australopithecus remains unclear. The oldest species in this genus (Australopithecus anamensis, specimens of which have been dated to 4.2–3.9 million years ago) is known primarily from jaws and teeth, whereas younger species (dated to 3.5–2.0 million years ago) are typically represented by multiple skulls. Here we describe a nearly complete hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille (Ethiopia) that we date to 3.8 million years ago. We assign this cranium to A. anamensis on the basis of the taxonomically and phylogenetically informative morphology of the canine, maxilla and temporal bone. This specimen thus provides the first glimpse of the entire craniofacial morphology of the earliest known members of the genus Australopithecus. We further demonstrate that A. anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis differ more than previously recognized and that these two species overlapped for at least 100,000 years—contradicting the widely accepted hypothesis of anagenesis.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85071684509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85071684509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41586-019-1513-8

DO - 10.1038/s41586-019-1513-8

M3 - Article

C2 - 31462770

AN - SCOPUS:85071684509

VL - 573

SP - 214

EP - 219

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 7773

ER -

Haile-Selassie Y, Melillo SM, Vazzana A, Benazzi S, Ryan TM. A 3.8-million-year-old hominin cranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. Nature. 2019 Sep 12;573(7773):214-219. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1513-8