Homo rudolfensis

Homo rudolfensis - ancestor of man?

Of the Homo rudolfensis is an extinct species of the genus Homo. Homo rudolfensis owes its name to the site on Rudolfsee in Kenya. In 1972 paleoanthropologists discovered during excavations a skull of hitherto undescribed species. In the vicinity of Lake Rudolf, now known as Lake Turkana, archaeologists found in the episode further fossils of hominids. Including the Turkana boy, probably a homo ergaster, as well as two over 18 million year old primates. These two finds are among the oldest ever discovered primate species.
Homo rudolfensis lived 2.5 to 1.9 million years ago, making it the hitherto most original species of the genus Homo. In Ethiopia and Malawi more fossils could be made, so that the distribution area should have been limited to East Africa. With a size of 130 - 150cm and a weight between 50 and 60kg, the Homo rudolfensis was significantly larger and heavier than most Australopithecines. The brain volume of H. rudolfensis also exceeded that of Australopithecus by about one-third.
The abrasion of the bits of the found fossils speaks for a plant-based diet. Tool use is not certain confirmed, since neither stone nor found in the same soil layers simple stone tools could be found. Thus, tool use is not categorically ruled out in Homo rudolfensis, but for the time being to prove counterproductive unlikely.
Like its probably ancestral ancestors Kenyanthropus and Australopithecus, the Homo rudolfensis prefers to inhabit forests along rivers. Because of the strong morphological similarity to Australopithecines, some anthropologists doubt the affiliation of H. rudolfensis to the genus Homo. A reliable assignment proves to be difficult due to the low number of finds.

Profile: Homo rudolfensis

kind:H. rudolfensis
Surname:Latin 'homo' = human; 'rudolfensis' refers to the site on Rudolfsee
first record:1972 at Rudolfsee in Kenya
Period:2.5 to 1.9 million years (Pleistocene)
height:1,3 - 1,5m
mass:50 - 60kg
circulation area:East Africa (
brain volume:700 - 750cm³
food:mainly vegetable food
tool use:not safe
Walking upright:Yes, but only temporarily