- Comparative Anatomy
2 Ma - 1.5 Ma
Fourie (local quarryman)
Swartkrans, South Africa
SK 48 is a semi-complete cranium with evidence of crushing during deposition, and other damage inflicted when the specimen was blasted from the Transvaal cave where it was original located. Most of the SK 48's braincase is missing, particularly the posterior region. The left molars are present, as is the alveoli for the right incisors. The roots for the left second premolar are present as well.
Because of its relatively small sagittal crest and small canines, SK 48 was original described as a female1,2. The post canine teeth are very large, including obvious molarization of the premolars. Large zygomatics are present, along with a flat face that is dish-shaped in lateral view3,4. SK 48 exhibits a relatively anteriorly placed sagittal crest, a low rising frontal, postorbital constriction, a large face relative to the neurocranium, and a distinct frontal trigon4. It has also been noted that the nuerocortical morphology of SK 48 (and Paranthropus robustus as a species) is more ape-like than Australopithecus africanus3.
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