October 20, 2013

New hominid skull from Georgia

In October 2013 it was announced that a complete hominid skull had been discovered in Georgia.

From The Guardian , 17 October:
The discovery of a complete hominid skull and other fossil remains in Dmanisi, Georgia, suggests that the earliest members of the Homo genus – currently split into half a dozen distinct species – actually belonged to a single species: Homo erectus. These early human ancestors probably just had a wide range of physical appearances, say researchers in the journal Science. The skull is 1.8m years old and has a small braincase, a long face and large teeth, a combination of features not previously seen in other early Homo fossils.

Click on the above link to see a short video.And read more on this link.

The skull, along with stone tools and animal bones have been dated at 1.8 myo. This fossil is the only intact skull ever found of a human ancestor that lived in the early Pleistocene. Bones were found from five individuals. Animal bones include those from now extinct large cats.

The bones are said to be early forms of Homo erectus, the early relative of modern humans. Now it seems that they  left Africa earlier than previously thought.

Abstract from Science 18 Oct 2013 - A Complete Skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the Evolutionary Biology of Early Homo .  

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