Skip to main content

Tobias, Philip Valentine

Philip Valentine Tobias, 1925–2012, South African paleoanthropologist, b. Durban. He graduated from the Univ. of Witwatersrand (Ph.D., 1953) and taught there for five decades. Tobias entered paleoanthropology in 1959 when Louis and Mary Leakey invited him to study and restore part of a hominid jawbone they had found at Olduvai Gorge. He wrote a classic treatise on this "Dear Boy" jaw, leading to a long association with the Leakeys during which he reconstructed fossil skulls and measured brain size, and identified and described a new human species, Homo habilis. In 1966 he began excavations at South Africa's Sterkfontein caves, where he and his team found and analyzed hundreds of hominid fossils and tools; many contemporaneous animal fossils also were found. Tobias was also an active opponent of apartheid.

See J. Dugard and G. Strkalj, ed., Tobias in Conversation (2009) and his autobiography (2005).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tobias, Philip Valentine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 16 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Tobias, Philip Valentine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (July 16, 2019).

"Tobias, Philip Valentine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.