Larger than Au. africanus, with weight ranging from 42 to 89 kg. Dimorphic.
> 500 cc.
robust face, cranium with sagittal crest, robust lower jaw, small front teeth, large thick-enamelled molars and premolars. More robust than the gracile Australopithecines, but much less cranially robust than P. boisei.
Similar to smaller Australopithecines as far as is known.
Peninj (Tanzania), Olduvai (Kenya), Omo (Ethiopia), East Turkana (Kenya), Chesowanja (= Baringo) (Kenya).
2.5 to 1.3 mya.
37 to 89 kg, markedly dimorphic.
Most cranially robust species: massive cranium with sagittal crest, flat heavily buttressed face, heavily buttressed lower jaw, small front teeth, enormous molars and premolars with very thick enamel. (The teeth, facial and jaw buttressing, and sagittal crest may indicate that this species was a “chewing machine,” since those adaptations could have functioned to absorb the forces generated by constant chewing.)
Similar to other Australopithecines, as far as is known.
Paranthropus/Australopithecus boisei (KNM-ER 406) (Dept of Anthropology, UCSD)
Paranthropus/Australopithecus boisei (KNM-OH 5) (Los Angeles Museum of Natural History)
Most Famous Specimens:
"The Black Skull" (KNM-WT 17000) (Kenya)
Largest sagittal crest of any known hominid.
The nickname “Black Skull” was given because the specimen is darkened by manganese stains.
This form seems intermediate between Au. afarensis and later Paranthropus robustus. Some anatomists class it with Au. boisei (P. boisei).