Masato Nakatsukasa

Masato Nakatsukasa



Masato Nakatsukasa


Primary department

Org1 Org2 Org3 Job title
Graduate School of Science Biological Sciences   Professor


nakatsuk (at)




Research Topics

Study of the evolution of primates, especially hominoids, mainly based on anatomical and paleontological methods.


Personal Profile

My research interest lies on the process of lineage divergence in the clade of humans and living apes. For this scope, I am conducting excavations of Miocene fossil localities in Kenya and other countries.


Overview of your research

Current research topics are as follows.
1) Excavation of the Late Miocene (c. 10 milion-years-old) locality Nakali, Kenya and analysis of the primate fauna.
2) Research of the Pliocene locality Kantis (c. 3.5 milion-years-old), first hominin fossil site discovered in the Nairobi area.
3) Paleoanthropological research of Turkish fossil locality (Vallesian/ Turolian).
4) Locomotion of Ardipithecus and other fossil humans.
5) Ontogenetic (prenatal and postnatal) development of the postcranial skeleton in extant apes and human.


Fields of research (key words)

Fossil, hominoids, adaptation, evolution.


Message from the Researcher

In childhood, I preferred reading books inside house rather than playing outside. Reading the encyclopedia was fun for me and the volume of the extinct animals was one of my favorites. However, I was never a dreaming child to imagine myself searching and digging fossils in searing badlands. My original intent to enter Kyoto University was not studying physical anthropology, and honestly, I hated fieldwork. With many years, I became aware that the excavations of fossils have an irresistible attraction, such as a treasure hunt, and may be suitable for the grown-up who did not play enough in childhood.