Image: Homo habilis skull side view

Homo habilis skull side view

Cast of OH 24 (nicknamed twiggy), a 1.8-million-year-old skull discovered in 1968 by Peter Nzube in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. When found, this skull had been badly crushed and was reconstructed from hundreds of fragments. It also shows some distortion of the bones that occurred before fossilisation was complete.

Carl Bento
© Australian Museum


The skull roof is thin and rounded and the brian size is about 650cc. The face projects forward under the nose as in other H. habilis skulls, but less than earlier Australopithecus species. The third molars had erupted, indicating this individual was an adult at death. However, they show no sign of wear so death probably came soon after the molars erupted.

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