Eliye Springs and the Turkana Boy

Eliye Springs and the Turkana Boy : Kenya is best known for its amazing and unmatched Safaris tours. This is attributed to its variations in its beautiful landscapes and white sand beaches. One of such place is Eliye Springs, often spelt Ille Springs, is a small Kenyan settlement located close to the mouth of the Turkwel River on the western bank of Lake Turkana the biggest permanent desert lake in the world. It is situated 40 kilometres south of Kalokol and 50 km east of Lodwar.

The settlement of roughly 5000 inhabitants is supported by the natural springs for which it is named, which also create lush flora along its portion of the otherwise arid lakefront and provide good drinking water. However, due to carelessness, E. Coli and other dangerous organisms have been discovered in the spring’s water. Around 1981, there was a hunting lodge beside the lake that consisted of a number of huts constructed of grass and had very few amenities. By 1982, property was in chaos, the owner had left, but several employees stayed in an effort to recover outstanding salaries. Kenya safari adventurers may find refuge in the huts while they savoured the warm, clear waters and sunsets. In 1982, food had to be purchased in Lodwar, and it took almost two hours to travel to Eliye Springs.

Since then, the Lodge has been one of the best safari destinations for nature lovers under new administration and draws an increasing number of visitors to the lovely, dry white sand beach. Small charter planes can land nearby on an airstrip.

Cradle of mankind

The Turkana region in kenya is known as the cradle of mankind it is believed to be home of the early man. Smithsonian Institution has an exhibit item with the number “Eliye Springs ES11693” that is a very old human ancestor skull known as “Homo heidelbergensis” that is between 200,000 and 300,000 years old.

The new fossil cranium KNM-ES-11693 was described as another example of archaic Homo sapiens in a preliminary report (Bräuer & Leakey, 1986): “The sample comes from modified deposits which exclude its being geographically located. Despite these issues with dating, the well-preserved and highly solidified fossil exhibits a variety of physical traits that allow it to be identified as an archaic Homo sapiens.

African early and late archaic Homo sapiens are contrasted with ES-11693. The new hominid has a distinctive mosaic of ancient and contemporary traits, but it appears to have a closer affinity for the late archaic H. Sapiens grade, which also includes the hominids Omo 2 and Laetoli H. 18.

The Turkana Boy

Many safari tour operators have trips to this regions for visitors who wish to see and learn about the famous Turkana boy. The name Turkana Boy, also known as Nariokotome Boy, was given to fossil KNM-WT 15000, which is almost the entire skeleton of a young Homo ergaster person who lived 1.5 to 1.6 million years ago. The skeleton of an early hominid has never been found that is as complete as this one. It was found in 1984 by Kamoya Kimeu on the Kenyan side of the Nariokotome River, close to Lake Turkana.

Because of the morphology of the pelvis, the specimen is mostly classified as male, but because it is prepubescent, the sex is ultimately unknown. Whether the maturity stage of the teeth or skeleton is utilised to estimate the age at death and if the age of maturity is compared to that of Homo sapiens or to chimpanzees depends on the study. The fact that modern humans experience a distinct adolescent growth spurt whereas chimps do not is a crucial aspect. Early studies used the assumption that early Hominids had a growth pattern similar to that of present-day humans, but more recent data from other fossils suggests otherwise. This discrepancy has an impact on estimates of the specimen’s age and likely stature as an adult. Based on established rates of bone development, Alan Walker and Richard Leakey estimated the boy to have been between 11 and 12 years old in 1993. According to Walker and Leakey (1993), dental dating frequently produces a person’s age that is younger than their real age.

In a 2009 Nova special, Christopher Dean (M. C. Dean) of University College London calculated that the Turkana Boy was 8 years old when he passed away.

Eliye Springs and the Turkana Boy
The Turkana Boy

A unique Kenyan safari tour for Historians

The skeleton is the most complete early human skeleton ever found, with 108 bones. He may have been close to his adult height at his estimated death weight of 48 kg (106 lb) and height of 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in) according to the Smithsonian. Turkana Boy may have grown to be 185 centimetres (6.07 feet) tall and weigh 68 kilogrammes (150 lb) as an adult. The narrower pelvis compared to Homo sapiens are most likely designed for more effective upright walking. This further suggests a totally grounded form of walking on two legs, in contrast to older human species, which exhibit both bipedalism and tree climbing. Being relatively tall increased the Boy’s body surface area, which improved the loss of heat and reduced the risk of heat stress when exposed to the sun.

The KNM-WT 15000 skeleton as a whole still possessed characteristics not found in H. Sapiens, including a low forehead with pronounced brow ridges and an absence of a chin. However, there are important distinguishing traits, like a larger brain size (880 cc).The slightly longer arms and legs suggest effective bipedalism. As opposed to the open, flat nose observed in other apes, this one projects like a human’s. Additionally, body hair may have been thinner (likely unadorned), and there may have been more sweat glands to speed cooling. While the reconstruction of Turkana Boy depicts him as having dark complexion, this is unlikely to be the case. About 1.2 million years ago, skin pigmentation first appeared in the Homo genus. Genetic investigation reveals that elevated melanocortin 1 receptor activation, which results in dark complexion, dates to around that period.

The majority of experts come to the conclusion that Homo ergaster and Homo erectus, unlike its more primitive forebears, became proficient hunters as a result of the fossil skeleton and other fossil evidence, including Acheulean stone tools. A larger brain would have likely resulted in a more complicated social structure; the Broca’s area of the brain, which facilitates speech, is distinguished by a small slant on the skull. The thoracic vertebrae of Turkana Boy are smaller than those of Homo sapiens. As a result, he would have had less control over the thoracic muscles that modern humans use to modulate respiration and enable the sequencing of complicated vocalisations upon single breaths.

Early research suggested that Turkana Boy had either dwarfism or scoliosis as a congenital disease. This was because, at the time, skeletal dysplasia was thought to be the cause of the rib bones’ apparent asymmetry to the spine. A 2013 study, however, revealed that the early hominins had a peculiar vertebral anatomy, and that when the rib bones were changed, they became symmetrical against the spine. The fossil did, however, clearly exhibit lumbar disc herniation, a condition that has been linked to the specimen’s demise. Additionally, the specimen’s mandible was infected.

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