A boy from Turkana

on .

Nariokotome BoyYes, I'm actually holding the original cranium of one of the most famous fossils in the world. It's a male boy, catchily nicknamed "Turkana Boy", who died 1.6 million years ago. His fossilized skeletal remains were found nearly complete near the Nariokotome River in the Lake Turkana Basin in 1984. The individual is ancestral to our own species, being assigned to the Homo erectus respectively Homo ergaster species. One of the interesting facts gleaned from the "Boy" is that his rate of growth was much faster than of modern humans. The current hot issue is whether the specimen shows any congenital pathologies. A recent Swiss study has found no evidence for such pathologies but instead indications of a misalignment of the vertebral column suggesting a herniated disk, which may have contributed to his death.