Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The species Homo rudolfensis was originally proposed in 1986 by V. P. Alexeev for the specimen KNM ER 1470. Originally thought to be a member of the species Homo habilis, much debate surrounded the fossil and its species assignment. It was thought that 2 million years ago there existed a single species in the genus Homo, and this species evolved in a linear fashion into modern humans.
But the differences in this skull, when compared to other habilines, are too pronounced, leading to the formulation of the species Homo rudolfensis, contemporary with Homo habilis.
It is not yet certain if H. rudolfensis was ancestral to the later species in Homo, or if H. habilis was, or if some third species yet to be discovered was.
Like H. habilis, there is large amount of controversy about the classification of H. rudolfensis into the Homo genus. Like H. habilis, H. rudolfensis lacked many of the things that were unique only to later hominids such as slim hips for walking long distances, a sophisticated sweating system, narrow birth canal, legs longer than arms, noticeable whites in the eyes, smaller hairs resulting in naked appearance and exposed skins, ect. Many scientists think Rudolfensis to be more ape like despite their large brains and bipedal locomotion.
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