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Posts Tagged "Homo"

Observations

Debate Flares over Identity of Celebrated Human Fossils

Australopithecus sediba lower jaws

CALGARY—In 2010 paleoanthropologists announced to great fanfare that they had recovered from a South African cave two partial skeletons of a previously unknown member of the human family that lived nearly two million years ago. The skeletons—a young male and an adult female referred to as MH1 and MH2, respectively–were said to exhibit a striking melange [...]

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Observations

Reconstructed Face of Extinct “Hobbit” Species Is Startlingly Humanlike

Face of the hobbit, Homo floresiensis

Once upon a time a tiny human species with large feet shared the planet with our own kind. It hunted giant rats and miniature cousins of the elephant, defended its kills from monstrous storks and dodged fearsome dragons. This is not the plot of a lost Tolkien book. This really happened. I’m referring, of course, [...]

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Observations

3.3-Million-Year-Old Baby Shows Lucy’s Species Hung Out in Trees

Selam, a juvenile Australopithecus afarensis specimen

The advent of upright walking was a really big deal in human evolution. Scientists have posited that it allowed our ancestors to see above the savanna grass (the better to spot predators and prey), to carry tools and food and babies, to travel long distances more efficiently and to better strut their stuff for potential [...]

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Observations

Rise of Humans 2 Million Years Ago Doomed Large Carnivores

lion2

The impact of Homo sapiens on the environment over the past few hundred years has been so profound that some scientists term this chapter of Earth’s history the Anthropocene. But humans may have begun wreaking ecological havoc far, far earlier than that. A new theory suggests that a shift in the technology and diet of [...]

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Observations

Was Australopithecus sediba Polygamous? Paleontologist Answers Reader Questions about New Early Human Fossils

Lee Berger

During a recent reporting trip to South Africa for a forthcoming feature article on a new fossil human species called Australopithecus sediba, I asked readers to submit their questions about this dazzling find. Inquiries about the nearly two-million-year-old hominin–which has been held up as a possible ancestor of our genus, Homo–came in via Twitter, Google Plus [...]

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Observations

Is This Your Long-Lost Ancestor?

Australopithecus sediba skull

In the spring of 2010, the world met Australopithecus sediba, a nearly two-million-year-old human relative whose remains were found at a site just a short drive from Johannesburg, South Africa. By all accounts, it was an extraordinary discovery: two beautifully preserved partial skeletons–a juvenile male and an adult female–with the promise of more individuals to [...]

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