Who was Turkana Human or Turkana Boy?
It is also called Nariokotome Boy, is the name given to fossil KNM-WT 15000, a nearly complete skeleton of a Homo ergaster youth who lived at c. 1.5 to 1.6 million years ago.
The word ergaster was coined from a Greek word meaning ‘work’, so the name Homo ergaster means ‘workman’. This name was used because large stone tools were found near some of its fossils.
This specimen is the most complete early human skeleton ever found. It was discovered in 1984 by Kamoya Kimeu on the bank of the Nariokotome River near Lake Turkana in Kenya. Estimates of the individual’s age at death ranged from 7 to 11 years old.
Although the specimen is largely considered male due to the shape of the pelvis, the sex is ultimately indeterminate due to its prepubescent age. Estimates of the age at death depend on whether the maturity stage of the teeth or skeleton is used, and whether that maturity is compared to that of modern humans or to chimpanzees.
A key factor is that, while modern humans have a marked adolescent growth spurt, chimpanzees do not. While initial research assumed a modern human type of growth, more recent evidence from other fossils suggests this was less present in early Homo. This affects the estimation of both the age and the likely stature of the specimen as a fully grown adult.
Alan Walker and Richard Leakey in 1993 estimated the boy to have been about 11–12 years old based on known rates of bone maturity. Walker and Leakey (1993) said that dental dating often gives a younger age than a person’s actual age. Christopher Dean (M. C. Dean) of University College London, in a Nova special, estimated that the Turkana Boy was 8 years old at death.
FAQs about Turkana Human or Turkana Boy:
What is significant about Turkana Boy?
Ans: He had a disability that hindered his movement, his body shows long legs and narrow shoulders typical of humans who live in the hot, dry climates today.
How did the Turkana Boy die?
Answer: According to Wikipedia, he probably died of septicaemia (blood poisoning).
- What is the evidence that suggests Turkana Boy did not have body hair?
- What did the discovery of Turkana Boy teach us about our evolution?
- Who found the Nariokotome boy?
- What is our closest extinct relative?
- What is a significant characteristic of Nariokotome boy?
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