Length estimate for KNM-ER 736, a hominid femur from the lower pleistocene of East Africa

Research paper by T. Geissmann

Indexed on: 01 Dec '86Published on: 01 Dec '86Published in: Human Evolution


Our knowledge concerning stature in earlyHomo is scanty. In this paper, based on comparison with the fossil femur KNM-ER 999, an estimate of 482 mm femur length is derived for KNM-ER 736, the latter dating from the Lower Pleistocene. From comparison with other fossil and modern femora, KNM-ER 736 appears to be the longest hominid femur so far recovered from a site of Early Pleistocene age. Moreover, the estimated femur length is higher than the published mean values of most modern populations. Provided that trunk and head proportions were not radically different from modernH. sapiens, the finding would suggest that a stature similar to that of modern man was already reached by East AfricanHomo as early as about 1.6 Myr before present.