Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Shara E. Bailey
Zinjanthropus is an extinct hominin discovered by Mary Leakey in 1959 at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The name Zinjanthropus literally means “East African Man.” The specimen for which the species Zinjanthropus boisei was named (OH5, or Olduvai Hominind 5) is also known as “Nutcracker man” because of its extremely large postcanine teeth (molars and premolars). Zinjanthropus boisei was later reclassified as Australopithecus boisei (A. boisei) because of its similarities to South African robust australopithecines. Some scientists have advocated reclassifying it to the genus Paranthropus , a sister taxon to Australopithecus. The fossil preserves a nearly complete cranium of an adult male. Its brain size is about 530 cubic centimeters (cc), which is larger than the average chimpanzee (390 cc) but much smaller than the average human (1400 cc). The ...