The unusual cranial attributes of KNM-ER 1805 and their implication for studies of sexual dimorphism inHomo habilis
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A principal components analysis (PCA) of basicranial measurements (Thompson 1991) isolated KNM-ER 1805 as having the highest Principal Component (PC) score on PCI of all the fossil hominids. Two measurements with high loadings on PCI were B12 and B13 and these two measurements indicate the relative positions of the foramina ovale (FO) and infratemporal crests (IT) to the tympanic bone (TP). The object of this study was to compare the two measurements of KNM-ER 1805 with those of other early fossil hominids as well as a sample of extant hominoids. The comparison involved the raw measurements, the index of the two measurements, the coefficient of variation, and a t-test. The results of this comparison showed that KNM-ER 1805 had more forwardly placed foramina ovale than any of the comparative specimens. KNM-ER 1805 possesses a number of other unique features which differentiate it from other hominids including a persistent metopic suture, the form of the premolar roots, and the form of the asterionic region. These apparent unique features mean that KNM-ER 1805 is unlikely to represent an “average” maleHomo habilis and so is an inappropriate model for the male morph of that species.
Key wordsHominids Foramina ovale basicranium
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