Turkanapithecus kalakolensis
KNMWK 16950
Age approx. 17.00 Million Years Digital Capture: Photogrammetry

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In 1984, after the excitement of the field season at Nariokotome with the discovery of the Turkana Boy, Kamoya Kimeu and the fossil hunting team stopped at some exposures close to the road between Lodwar and Kalokol on their way back to Nairobi. Richard had asked them to spend a few days at these exposures through which the main road passes, to check if they contained fossils. For several years they had spoken of stopping at this spot, named Kalodirr, but they had always found themselves too short of time to do this. In the few days of searching, they found several mammalian fossils and were thrilled to recover this skull of Turkanapithecus kalakolensis, belonging to a Miocene ape, dated at 17 million years. Numerous other species of apes are known from Kenya’s Miocene deposits including Afropithecus turkanensis from Buluk and Kalodirr in northern Kenya, and Proconsul hesloni from Rusinga Island, western Kenya. During the early Miocene there was an extraordinary diversity of primitive ape species but these were restricted to Africa. Apes first appear in Eurasia in the Middle Miocene about 16 million years ago.


The specimens displayed on this site are published specimens unless otherwise indicated. The information about the artifacts on this site is of a general nature only and unless otherwise indicated, has been written either by members of the African Fossils team, the National Museums of Kenya or the Turkana Basin Institute. The printed models are not of a high enough resolution to enable accurate scientific measurements and have generated using photogrammetry and in some cases low resolution digital models have been generated using laser scanners.

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