Aspects of the middle and external ear of early South African hominids

Yoel Rak*, Ronald J. Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A brief description of the exposed middle ear from two Swartkrans specimens demonstrates the feasibility of examining the inner auditory structures of existing fossil hominid material. These Swartkrans fossils provide the first clear view of the early hominid middle ear, and their structures appear to be morphologically distinct. The bony anatomy of the external ear of Australopithecus robustus is found to be unique among the South African hominids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-473
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1979
Externally publishedYes


  • Australopithecus robustus
  • Ear anatomy
  • Swartkrans


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