3 hominins found on October 21st

Nutcracker Man

The following three iconic hominins were found on October 21st!

The Mauer mandible – Oct 21st, 1907

It was found in the sediments by the Neckar river near Mauer, Germany, and dated to 500-600 Ka. The fossil was so different from other Homo specimens that a new species was defined for it: Homo heidelbergensis. This mandible remained the oldest hominin known in Europe for almost a century, until the 1990s.

It combines primitive features (large size, robust wide mandibular body, thick enamel, broad ramus) and modern features (molars are smaller than Homo erectus but some similar to modern humans). It is relatively short, the symphysis slopes down and back from the teeth and lacks a projecting chin.

Mauer mandible Mauer mandible. Image credit: Schoetensack O. Der Unterkeifer des Homo heidelbergensis aus den Sanden von Mauer bei Heidelberg (1908)

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