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Homo rudolfensis

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Homo rudolfensis is a true transitional form linking australopithecines and humans; examples date from 1.8 million years ago or earlier. Researchers have found very primitive stone tools contemporary with H. rudolfensis, but we cannot prove which species made them.


Evolution of the shape, size, and contours of the human (Homo) skull

H. rudolfensis might have been a type of australopithecine with a larger brain, [1][2] the exact point of transition between Australopithecus and Homo being inevitably arbitrary. H. rudolfensis had a larger brain than Homo habilis [3] and some development of Broca’s area, later associated with speech though we do not know whether H. rudolfensis could talk. Furthermore, the areas of the brain which modern humans use for logical thinking, future planning and decision making were developed in H. rudolfensis. It was taller than a typical australopithecine, about as tall as modern humans.[4][note 1]

Homo habilis and rudolfensis compared[edit]

Homo rudolfensis is very similar to Homo habilis and some scientists see H. rudolfensis as a type of H. habilis. One might have been the male and the other the female. [5] Comparing patterns of dental wear for H. rudolfensis and H. habilis suggest the two had different diets and may indicate different species. [6] Recent fossil finds suggest that Homo rudolfensis was a distinct species and not a different type of Homo habilis. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. As soft tissue does not fossilise readily, it is not currently known if H. rudolfensis had a very shiny nose.