Research Article

Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa

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Science  09 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5975, pp. 195-204
DOI: 10.1126/science.1184944

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  1. Fig. 1

    Craniodental elements of Au. sediba. UW88-50 (MH1) juvenile cranium in (A) superior, (B) frontal, and (C) left lateral views. (D) UW88-8 (MH1) juvenile mandible in right lateral view, (E) UW88-54 (MH2) adult mandible in right lateral view, (F) UW88-8 mandible in occlusal view, (G) UW 88-54 mandible in occlusal view, and (H) UW 88-50 right maxilla in occlusal view (scale bars are in centimeters).

  2. Fig. 2

    Associated skeletal elements of MH1 (left) and MH2 (right), in approximate anatomical position, superimposed over an illustration of an idealized Au. africanus skeleton (with some adjustment for differences in body proportions). The proximal right tibia of MH1 has been reconstructed from a natural cast of the proximal metaphysis.

  3. Fig. 3

    Dental size of a selection of Au. sediba teeth compared to other early hominin taxa; see fig. S4 for additional teeth. Dental measurements were taken as described by Wood (6). Owing to small sample sizes, H. habilis and H. rudolfensis were combined. (A) Upper central incisor mesiodistal (MD) length. (B) Upper canine MD length. (C) Lower canine MD length. (D) Square root of calculated [MD × BL (BL, buccolingual)] upper third premolar area. (E) Square root of calculated (MD × BL) upper second molar area. (F) Square root of calculated (MD × BL) lower second molar area. Measures were taken on original specimens by D.J.D. for Au. africanus, Au. robustus, and Au. sediba. Measurements for Au. afarensis, H. habilis, H. rudolfensis, and H. erectus are from (6). P4 is not fully erupted on the right side of MH1, therefore measures of the maxillary postcanine dentition are presented for the left side only. Dental metrics for Au. sediba are as follows (MD, BL, in millimeters): Maxillary: MH1: RI1 10.1, 6.9; LI2 7.7 (damaged), 5.1; RC 9.0, 8.8; LP3 9.0, 11.2; LP4 9.2, 12.1; LM1 12.9, 12.0; LM2 12.9, 13.7; LM3 13.3, 14.1; MH2: RM3 11.3, 12.9. Mandibular: MH1: LC 8.0, 8.5; RM1 12.5, 11.6; RM2 14.4, 12.9; RM3 14.9, 13.8; MH2: RM1 11.8, 11.1; RM2 14.1, 12.2; RM3 14.2, 12.7; LM3 14.1, 12.5.

  4. Fig. 4

    Representative ossa coxae, in lateral view, from left to right, of Au. afarensis (AL 288-1), Au. africanus (Sts 14), Au. sediba (MH1), and H. erectus (KNM-WT 15000). The specimens are oriented so that the iliac blades all lie in the plane of the photograph (which thus leads to differences between specimens in the orientation of the acetabula and ischial tuberosities). MH1 possesses derived, Homo-like morphology compared to other australopithecines, including a relative reduction in the weight transfer distance from the sacroiliac (yellow) to hip (circle) joints; expansion of the retroauricular surface of the ilium (blue arrows) (determined by striking a line from the center of the sphere representing the femoral head to the most distant point on the posterior ilium; the superior arrow marks the terminus of this line, and the inferior arrow marks the intersection of this line with the most anterior point on the auricular face); narrowing of the tuberoacetabular sulcus (delimited by yellow arrows); and pronouncement of the acetabulocristal (green arrows) and acetabulosacral buttresses.