- Comparative Anatomy
Homo habilis, whose remains have been found in East Africa, is thought to be the oldest Homo species and is a contemporary of Paranthropus.
This species had a short face with relatively little to no prognathism, a wide parabolic dental arch, relatively deep palate, reduced canines, and relatively small elongated narrow molars when compared to australopiths. The H. habilis crania is relatively more rounded than the crania of Australopithecus, with a rising forehead and rounded occipital.
H. habilis retains a small body size and cranial capacity (612 cc), making H. habilis the first hominin with a relative and absolute brain size expanded beyond the known ape range. Like australopiths, H. habilis was highly sexually dimorphic, and had relatively longer arms than legs. Bipedal adaptations include bicondylar angle and foot morphology similar to modern humans.
Oldowan stone tools associated with H. habilis remains earned this hominin the nickname “handy man.” The type specimen for H. habilis, OH 7, was found at Olduvai Gorge and dates to approximately 1.75 million years ago.
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