KNM WT 17000


KNM-WT 17000 cast

KNM WT 17000 (also known as "The Black Skull") is a fossilized adult skull of the species Paranthropus aethiopicus. It was discovered in West Turkana, Kenya by Alan Walker in 1985. Estimated to be 2.5 million years old, it is an adult with an estimated cranial capacity of 410 cc.

Its characteristics include a robust build with a prominent sagittal crest. Its coloration is due to the high manganese content of the material it was embedded in. This fossilized cranium's face projects far outward from the forehead, has wide flared zygomatic arches, and has the largest sagittal crest of any early human. The molar and premolar roots in the jaw are indicative of this early human having massive cheek teeth; an adaptation for heavy chewing. It is the only known adult skull of the species.[1]

See also


  1. ^ "KNM-WT 17000". Smithsonian National Museum of History.

External links

  • Media related to KNM-WT 17000 at Wikimedia Commons
  • Archaeology Info
  • Smithsonian Institution