A possible case of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus

Abstract

Following an initial discovery by Bw. K. Kimeu in 1973, sieving operations have recovered the most complete Homo erectus skeleton so far known (Fig. 1) from the Upper Member of the Koobi Fora Formation in Area 103, Koobi Fora, East Lake Turkana in Kenya1,2. The partial skeleton shows pathological changes consistent with chronic hypervitaminosis A. We attribute this disorder to the high dietary intake of animal liver, most probably that of carnivores, during a period when the dietary habits of Homo erectus were changing.

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Walker, A., Zimmerman, M. & Leakey, R. A possible case of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus. Nature 296, 248–250 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1038/296248a0

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