|09-21-2006, 05:03 AM||#1|
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Join Date: Aug 2004
Local Time: 02:13 AM
What Lucy's child might have been like
From today's New York Times
by John Noble Wilford
"If the fossil Lucy, the most famous woman from out of the deep human past, had a child, it might have looked a lot like the bundle of skull and bones uncovered by scientists digging in the badlands of Ethiopia.
Scientists say this skull, and the rest of its skeleton, has clues on a little-known period of early human origins.
The same region of Ethiopia has been a source of fossil discoveries.
The paleontologists who are announcing the discovery in the journal Nature today said the 3.3-million-year-old fossils were of the earliest well-preserved child ever found in the human lineage. It was estimated to be about 3 years old at death, probably female and a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species, the same as Lucy’s.
An analysis of the skeleton revealed evidence of a species in transition, the scientists said in interviews yesterday.
The lower limbs supported earlier findings that afarensis walked upright, like modern humans. But gorillalike arms and shoulders suggested that it possibly retained an ancestral ability to climb and swing through the trees.
“Her completeness, antiquity and age at death make this find unprecedented in the history of paleoanthropology,” said Zeresenay Alemseged, the Ethiopian leader of the discovery team and a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany."
Rest of article at link.
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