The Important Discovery of Kenyanthropus Platyops - The Flat Faced Man of Kenya

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The Important Discovery of Kenyanthropus Platyops - The Flat Faced Man of Kenya

A recent finding on the western shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, a semi-desert area, could hold bold new implication for the origin of man. The finding was the skull of a very early hominid which displays facial features of both modern man and early, more primitive ancestors. The findings have been dated to approximately 3.5 million years, a time period once thought to be dominated by human ancestors that did not posses any noticeable and unique characteristics held by modern man.

The find was discovered by Meave Leakey of the National Museums of Kenya and her colleagues, Fred Spoor, Frank H. Brown, Patrik N. Gathogo, Christopher Kiarie, Louise N. Leakey and Ian McDougall. The find originated from an area in Northern Kenya which has been a hot bed for early hominid fossils, and has earned the nickname the “Leakey Stable”. The specific area in Northern Kenya is located in the Lomekwi and Topernawi river drainages in the Turkana district. The type locality is LO-6N at 03’ 54.03’ north latitude, 035’ 44.40’ east longitude.

The bed where the skull was found contains sedimentary and volcanic rocks in addition to the skulls placement between the Lokochot Tuff, and Tulu Bor Tuff, layers of earth that have an approximate age, allowed the scientist to conclude that the skull was approximately 3.5 million years old.

Although the skull was dated 3.5 million years old it held distinctly human facial features, earning it its name Kenyanthropus platyops – The Flat-Faced Man of Kenya. It has a flat face, protruding somewhat like an ape with small teeth. The skulls cranium falls within the range of A. afarensis and A. africa...

... middle of paper ...

...g this modern people can see their past and present in the natural world and come to a better understanding of what it truly means to be human.


1. Leakey, M. G., Spoor, F., Brown, F. H., Gathogo, P. N., Kiarie, C., Leakey, L. N. and McDougall, I. New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages Nature 410, 433 - 440 (2001).


[1] Leakey, M. G., Spoor, F., Brown, F. H., Gathogo, P. N., Kiarie, C., Leakey, L. N. and McDougall, I. New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages Nature 410, 433 - 440 (2001). Pg. 436
[2] Leakey, M. G., Spoor, F., Brown, F. H., Gathogo, P. N., Kiarie, C., Leakey, L. N. and McDougall, I. New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages Nature 410, 433 - 440 (2001). Pg. 433

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