Specimen List

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

TM 266-01-060-1

  • Common Name:


  • Geologic Age:

    7 Ma - 6 Ma

  • Discovery Date:

    19 Jul 2001

  • Discovered By:

    Ahounta Djimdoumalbaye

  • Discovery Location:

    Quarry at Toros-Menalla locality TM 266, Western Djurab Desert, Chad

  • Cranial Capacity:

    360-370 cc

  • Sex:


  • Original Publication:

    Brunet et al. 2002

TM 266-01-060-1, discovered in 2001, is the type specimen for Sahelanthropus tchandensis, and may represent one of the oldest known hominins at 6-7 Ma. Its nickname is “Toumai,” which means “hope of life” in the Goran language (spoken in the Djurab Desert)1. The fossils designation as a hominin relies heavily of the possible posterior placement of the foramen magnum, which may indicate bipedalism. The relatively small cranium, which is partially crushed, retains many features that distinguish it as separate from both chimpanzees and Australopithecus2.