How They Survived
Homo rudolfensis had large and wider molars compared to Homo habilis. While their teeth were only slightly smaller than those seen in robust australopithecines, H. rudolfensis didn’t have the heavily-built jaw and strong jaw muscle attachments seen in robust early humans. These anatomical differences likely indicate different diets between H. rudolfensis and earlier australopith species capable of more powerful chewing.
Like other early Homo species, Homo rudolfensis may have used stone tools process their food. However, because more than one species of early human lived at the time tool manufacture and use originated, it’s hard for scientists to be certain which species is responsible for the making and using the first stone tools. There are currently no stone tools found in the same layers as the H. rudolfensis fossils, but there are stone tools existing in the same time period that H. rudolfensis lived.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Human Origins Program: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-rudolfensis
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