Re: Habilis and robusticity notes

Alex Duncan (
21 Jul 1995 04:30:31 GMT

In article <> David
DeGusta, writes:

>This brought me (temporarily) out of lurk mode. I would be cautious about
>defining A. (or P.) robustus based on large molars, as the above seems to.
>For example, A. robustus molars aren't really larger than A. africanus. If
>you have access to casts or photos, check out the sizes of the molars in
>the following:

There is a lot of overlap in dental metrics between africanus and
robustus. What's really interesting though is that the really ROBUST
robust mandibles are so much more robust than any africanus mandibles
(check SK12 -- I think). There is overlap in mandible size as well, w/
the smaller robusts being not much different than africanus. But all in
all, it looks like the robusts had a more strongly developed masticatory
complex. It didn't necessarily express itself in any one aspect of the
anatomy, but the anatomy as a whole indicates a reliance on harder food
items in robusts than for africanus.

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086