Morphology and affinities of new hominin cranial remains from Member 4 of the Sterkfontein Formation, Gauteng Province, South Africa

J Hum Evol. 2002 Apr;42(4):389-450. doi: 10.1006/jhev.2001.0532.


Descriptions are provided of 27 hominin cranial specimens recovered from Member 4 of the Sterkfontein Formation between 1968 and 1994. Provisional statements of taxonomic affinity are given. The principal conclusion of this overview is that the bulk of the cranial remains from Member 4 are attributable to Australopithecus africanus or are consistent with the anatomy of that species, while some others are indeterminate. No specimen can be assigned confidently to a known species other than A. africanus. However, two specimens document the possibility that a second, possibly new species is represented among the Member 4 hominins, although such a species is difficult to characterize on cranial evidence alone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cephalometry
  • Child
  • Fossils*
  • Hominidae / anatomy & histology*
  • Hominidae / classification
  • Humans
  • Mandible / anatomy & histology
  • Maxilla / anatomy & histology
  • Nasal Bone / anatomy & histology
  • Palate / anatomy & histology
  • Paleodontology
  • Paranasal Sinuses / anatomy & histology
  • Phylogeny
  • Skull / anatomy & histology*
  • South Africa