Introduction to KSD-VP-1/1: The Earliest Adult Partial Skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Early hominin partial skeletons are extremely rare in the fossil record, particularly for the time predating 3 Ma (million years ago). As a result, most of our understanding of Pliocene hominin paleobiology and phylogenetic relationships is based on isolated and fragmentary specimens. The Middle Pliocene species Australopithecus afarensis is one of the best-known early hominin species, and yet only three adult partial skeletons of the species have been recovered thus far, including the one described in this volume. The best known of these is the 3.2 Ma partial skeleton of a small female (A.L. 288-1) from Hadar, Ethiopia, and much of our understanding of the paleobiology of this species has been influenced by this specimen. The newly recovered 3.6 Ma partial skeleton from the Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia (KSD-VP-1/1, aka Kadanuumuu) represents a much larger male individual and may provide us with fresh insights into the paleobiology of Au. afarensis. This specimen not only preserves elements of the forelimb and hindlimb, but also includes complete elements, such as the scapula and clavicle, which were previously known only from fragmentary specimens. This edited volume provides the taphonomy and paleoecology of the partial skeleton, as well as detailed comparative descriptions of the preserved elements of KSD-VP-1/1 and their implications for our understanding of early hominin paleobiology. This chapter will present a basic introduction to the discovery of KSD-VP-1/1 and provide a guide to the contents of the volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
ISSN (Print)1877-9077


  • Hominin
  • Middle Pliocene
  • Paleobiology
  • Paleoecology
  • Woranso-Mille

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Palaeontology


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