Homo habilis Leakey, Tobias & Napier, 1964
Year: 1964
Taxonomic Rank: Species
Holotype: OH 7
Status: Potentially valid

The species Homo habilis was established by Leakey et al. (1964) to accommodate new fossils discovered in 1960 from Olduvai Gorge, locality FLKNN 1 that were clearly distinct from the Zinjanthropus (now Australopithecus or Paranthropusboisei material discovered in 1959. The type specimen of Homo habilis, Olduvai Hominid 7 (OH 7) was united with OH 4, OH 6, OH 8 and OH 13 as paratypes to erect the new species. The original diagnostic description highlights the presence of a strong, precision grip in Homo habilis, ostensibly part of an adaptation for tool use. The authors note an increased average cranial capacity in Homo habilis relative to Australopithecus (ca 600 vs 400 cc), but smaller than what is seen in Homo erectus (ca 800 cc). The skull of Homo habilis has reduced temporal lines that never converge in the midline and thus never form the sagittal crest seen in Australopithecus and the greatest breath of the skull is found between The molars are noted to be smaller than those of Australopithecus, especially in the bucco-lingual dimension. Throughout the 1960’s - 1990’s Homo habilis (sensu lato) became a widely defined taxon that included a very large number of specimens from Olduvai Gorge and Koobi Fora in Kenya. The taxon was revised by Wood (1992) and split into Homo habilis (sensu stricto) and Homo rudolfensis.