Kenyanthropus platyops

species of mammal

Kenyanthropus platyops is an extinct hominid species discovered in Lake Turkana, Kenya in 1999. It was by Justus Erus, who was part of Meave Leakey's team.[1]

Kenyanthropus platyops
Temporal range: Pliocene
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Kenyanthropus platyops
Leakey et al., 2001
Kenyanthropus platyops

The fossil 3.5 to 3.2 million year old. It has a broad flat face with a toe bone that suggests it probably walked upright. Teeth are intermediate between typical human and typical ape forms.

Leakey proposed that the fossil represents an entirely new hominine genus.[2] Others classify it as a separate species of Australopithecus, Australopithecus platyops, and still others interpret it as an individual of Australopithecus afarensis.

If some palaeoanthropologists are correct, Kenyanthropus may not even represent a valid taxon. The specimen is so distorted by matrix-filled cracks that meaningful morphological characteristics are next to impossible to assess with confidence.


  1. Kenyanthropus platyops
  2. Leakey, Meave G. (2001). "New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages". Nature. 410: 433–440. doi:10.1038/35068500. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)