Australopithecus boisei, half scale skull
Nicknamed Nutcracker Man or Zinj, Australopithecus boisei was discovered by Dr. Mary Leakey in 1959 at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Mary's husband, Louis Leakey, named the specimen Zinjanthropus boisei (Zinj = eastern, anthropus = man, and boisei referring to Charles Boise, a financial backer of the Leakey's research) and proclaimed it to be a direct ancestor of the modern human line. Over the years, careful analysis of this hyper-robust hominid suggested that it represented an interesting Australopithecine variant but was not our direct ancestor. Zinj had huge jaws and large molars (up to four times larger than modern human teeth). These massive teeth, muscle attachments and jaws helped Zinj grind its vegetarian diet of tough plant stalks, seeds and fibres. A. boisei lived from around 1.2 - 2.3 million years ago. The restoration is based on Marys find, OH 5, combined with a mandible from a different site called Peninj that happens to fit the OH 5 skull quite well.
Model size: 10.8(L) x 8.3(W) x 8.3(H) cm