Re: Height of Turkana Boy?

Osmo Ronkanen (ronkanen@cc.Helsinki.FI)
10 Nov 1995 20:58:28 +0200

In article <47pm58$>, Mithrandir <> wrote:
>I've just started reading Leakey's Origins Reconsidered.
>He states that the Turkana Boy died at an age of 12 and was
>between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 8 tall.

Actually according to the book the Turkana boy was nine years old when
he died.Had the Erectus grown like a modern man, he would have been
about 11 years old.

My copy says that he was 160 cm which is 5 foot 3. Did you read
original English version with that used feet or did you translate them
from metric units? It said that had it grown like a modern human at same
point of development (as opposite of age), it would have grown to 198 cm

> He then conclude that an
>adult "Turkana Man" would be above 6 feet (quite tall). I was
>wondering: Couldn't it be that the species were fully grown
>by the age of 12?

Hardly likely as all primates grow from that point on. Humans grow 23%
and chimps 14%.

Had the detected it was an adult, they would not have said originally
that it was 12 years old.

>To me it seems natural that more 'primitive'
>species go through childhood and youth faster than Homo Sapiens.

True, and that is why they over-estimated the age to 12 years.

Btw I was 150 cm at 10.9 years and 153.5 cm at 12.0 years (4-11 and
5-1/2 respectively). I am now 185 (6-1) (23% increase from the former
and 20.5% increase from the latter).

Some other parts in analysis the Turkana boy did raise some questions.
They said that the diameter of the opening on the pelvis is same on both
men and women. Is there a reason to assume that same held on Homo
Erectuses? Second they measured the diameter to be 10 cm (4 inch) on the
Turkana boy and said it was 12.5 cm (5 inch) on modern human. From this
they concluded that the brains of the brain of a newborn Erectus was
1/3 of the brain of an adult just like with modern humans. But the
Turkana boy was not an adult, should his pelvis have grown somewhat?
had it grown the 23%, it would be same as with modern humans, and
therefore the ratio would have been 1/2.5 instead of 1/3.