New fossil skeletons found, may belong to an unknown human antecestor

Scientist Berger’s nine-year-old-son, Matthew; in a visit to Malapa (South Africa), found fossilised skeletons recovered from a deep underground cave.

Berger thinks they belong to a previously unknown species of human antecestor.

The partial skeletons of an adult female and a young female were lying side by side insediments that were recovered with, at least, 25 other animals, in a region dominated by a grassy plain and wooded valleys.

The skeletons were really well preserved, so the paleontologist belive they fell into the cave (which researches think was a “death trap”) and were dead and buried within days or weeks.

The remains are thought to represent a period of evolutionary transition between tree-dwelling apes and the hominids.

Lee Berger, asigned the remains to a new species, Australopithecus sediba. Sediba means fountain in Sotho, one of the official languages of South Africa,

Berger thinks, Australopithecus sediba may be descended from the more primitive South African ape men, Australopithecus africanus.

On the other hand, other experts argue that remains have been misclassified and belong to the genus Homo, so the transition to Homo is still confusing.

I taked this article from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/apr/08/fossil-skeletons-unknown-human-ancestor?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487 , where we can see this video: skull-australopithecus-sediba-human-ancestor of  a reconstruction of the Australopithecus sediba’s skull.

The original source is http://www.sciencemag.org/site/extra/sediba/ . Here we can see the process of reconstruction of the skull, we can take the picture upside and read more about Australopithecus sediba.

In my opinion, even if we still don’t know to which genus the Australopithecus sediba belongs, any time remarkable fossils like this are found, in remarkable completeness, they are going to answer many questions, so it is going to contribute to the understanding of what was going on when the early members of Homo appeared.

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Estas entrada foi publicada en Curso 2011-2012, Evolución, paleontoloxía coas etiquetas . Ligazón permanente.

3 Responses to New fossil skeletons found, may belong to an unknown human antecestor

  1. You have a little mistake in the sources given. The Guardian’s article was published on 8 April 2010, so the “two reports in the journal Science” are under the “Related content” epigraph in your link (published in that time). Because the great interest of the issue, there are a special collection on Australopithecus sediba (with 5 reports) in the 9 September 2011 Science (where your link goes to).
    You can also see opinions about it in the journal “gossip” section, where you can read (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6048/1373):
    [Profile: Lee Berger] … “he will have to work hard to convince the field that his team’s interpretations are correct. His career has been dogged by controversy, and some of his peers find Berger, whose background includes a stint in TV news, heavy on style and light on substance

    Anyway, the discovery seems so be as interesting as controversial.

    Check for spelling mistakes, specially in the title!
    Remember to write in italics the scientific binomial names Australopithecus sediba, starting the genus with capital letter.

  2. I agree with your opinion of the article. Knowing about the beginning of the human being is always interesting and helps to understand the evoultion that the specie experimented.
    Not knowing the exact origin of the Australopithecus doesn’t mean that this finding is not relevant. However, the discovery adds more information about the antecessors of the human and the extinguished specie related to him.

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