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Summary of new discoveries concerning our ancestors

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  • Summary of new discoveries concerning our ancestors

    This articlwia good summary of recent discoveries concerning Homo Erectus and our relationship to Australopithecus ancestors. Home Erectus was around older than previous thought.


    Ancient humans are having a moment. Here are the fascinating new things we've learned this week about our ancestors

    By Ashley Strickland, CNN

    (CNN)It's a banner week for ancient humans. A multitude of studies are revealing intriguing new details, silencing debates about our ancient human ancestors, and strengthening their connections to modern humans.

    Timelines are being pushed back, mysteries are solved and details of everyday life are revealed. Even though ancient human ancestors differ in many ways from each other, and us, there are also similarities.
    The findings point toward the shared core of humanity. Even though we've learned so much about ourselves, the ultimate question still requires a multitude of answers: Where did we come from?

    Homo erectus just got a little older

    This is the story of three hominins, or ancient human ancestors, who all lived during the same time two million years ago in what is now South Africa's Johannesburg, called the Cradle of Humankind. But only one hominin would emerge as a survivor.
    Researchers recently discovered that Homo erectus, Austraolpithecus and Paranthropus lived at the same time. Their study published this week in the journal Science.This Homo erectus skullcap is the oldest ever discovered.
    During excavations of the Drimolen site just outside Johannesburg, researchers found a multitude of bone fragments. They came together as the skullcap for a hominin. Its signature shape revealed that the skull came from Homo erectus.
    Homo erectus were the oldest early humans to have body proportions similar to modern humans, including an expanded brain case. The brain cavity helped the researchers determine what they were seeing.
    Erectus is also known for migrating out of Africa, specifically east Africa. And until this discovery, no erectus fossils had ever been recovered in South Africa. The oldest erectus fossil came from Dmanisi, Georgia and was dated to 1.8 million years ago.
    The Drimolen skull, dubbed DNH 134, was dated to between 1.95 and 2.04 million years ago, based on the age of the site. It belonged to a young Homo erectus, only about two or three years old.
    "The age of the DNH 134 fossil shows that Homo erectus existed 150,000 to 200,000 years earlier than previously thought," said study author Andy Herries, head of the department of archeology and history at La Trobe University in Australia.
    This suggests that erectus may have originated in southern Africa before moving on to East and North Africa, and then the rest of the world.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .


    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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