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Turkana Boy sparks row over Homo erectus height

Studies differ on whether 8-year-old would have reached modern human stature

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3:07pm, April 14, 2014

GETTING BIGGER, MAYBE  Scientists disagree about whether a Homo erectus boy from 1.5 million years ago, represented here by a cast of the child’s skull, had a modern, humanlike teenage growth spurt.

CALGARY, Alberta — A Stone Age boy stands at the center of a controversy over when members of the human evolutionary family first reached heights and weights comparable to those of modern human adults.

All that remains of the ancient, approximately 8-year-old Homo erectus boy today is his nearly complete roughly 1.5-million-year-old skeleton. Excavations in 1984 near Kenya’s Lake Turkana yielded the find, often called Turkana Boy. At the time of the skeleton’s excavation, little was known about adult sizes and growth patterns of H. erectus.

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