Paranthropus boisei was a long-lived species of archaic hominin that first evolved in East Africa about 2.3 million years ago.

The first skull of Paranthropus boisei, dated to 1.75 million years old, was discovered in 1959 at Olduvai by the anthropologist Dr Mary Leakey. A number of hominin’s skull fossils have been discovered over the years, but the build and skeletal adaptations of the rest of the Paranthropus boisei‘s body have been unknown, until now.

During Olduvai excavations in 2010-2011, anthropologist Dr Charles Musiba of the University of Colorado Denver with colleagues unearthed the partial skeleton of a large adult individual who is represented by various teeth and skeletal parts.

“This is the first time we’ve found bones that suggest that this creature was more ruggedly built – combining terrestrial bipedal locomotion and some arboreal behaviors – than we’d previously thought. It seems to have more well-formed forearm muscles that were used for climbing, fine-manipulation and all sorts of behavior,” said Dr Musiba, who is a co-author of the paper published in the journal PLoS ONE.