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Study Suggests Turkana Boy Had a Stocky Build

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Turkana Skeletal ReconstructionNEW YORK, NEW YORK—According to a statement released by New York University, researchers created a 3-D shape for the rib cage of the 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus remains known as Turkana Boy, and employed virtual animation to investigate his breathing motion. Markus Bastir of Madrid’s National Museum of Natural Science, Daniel García-Martínez of Spain’s National Center for Research on Human Evolution, and Scott Williams of New York University then compared the reconstructed Homo erectus rib cage with those of modern humans and a Neanderthal, and found it to have a stockier shape resembling Neanderthal rib cages. The study suggests that modern humans only recently evolved a flat, tall chest, narrow pelvis, and rib cage, perhaps to optimize breathing for long-distance running and other activities requiring endurance. To read about unburied bodies found near Kenya's Lake Turkana that provide evidence of early warfare, go to "10,000-Year-Old Turf War," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2016.

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