Million years ago fossil leakey dating
For some additional takes, check out Erin Waymans piece at Hominid Hunting (Smithsonian) and Zachary Cofrans great discussion of these new fossils alongside the material from Malapa, South Africa, at Lawnchair Anthropology.
This is a critical time period in human evolutionary history, as it corresponds to the early evolution of our genus, Homo.
The current arguments about early Homo can be viewed, in some ways, as dating back to the discovery of fossil material from Olduvai Gorge by Mary and Louis Leakey back in the 1960s.
When the original Olduvai material was discovered it showed a combination of characters that appeared intermediate between already known South African Australopiths (A.
The article has gotten a lot of attention, with stories in the New York Times, two related commentaries in Nature, and I am sure numerous other stories elsewhere. 1), the cranium KNM-ER 1470 has been at the centre of the debate over the number of species of early Homo present in the early Pleistocene epoch(2) of eastern Africa.
This singular morphology and the incomplete preservation of the fossil have led to different views as to whether KNM-ER 1470 can be accommodated within a single species of early Homo that is highly variable because of sexual, geographical and temporal factors(4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), or whether it provides evidence of species diversity marked by differences in cranial size and facial or masticatory adaptation(3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20).
, an early human whose fossils were found in the same sediment layer.
The entire footprint trail is almost 27 m (88 ft) long and includes impressions of about 70 early human footprints.
The nearly complete mandible KNM-ER 60000 and mandibular fragment KNM-ER 62003 have a dental arcade that is short anteroposteriorly and flat across the front, with small incisors; these features are consistent with the arcade morphology of KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 62000.According to Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, fossil evidence is increasingly suggesting that human evolution followed the same pattern."Humans seem to have been evolving in different ways in different regions.It was almost as if nature was developing different human prototypes with different attributes, only one of which, an ancestor of our species, was ultimately successful in evolutionary terms," he said.3.6 million years ago in Laetoli, Tanzania, three early humans walked through wet volcanic ash.When the nearby volcano erupted again, subsequent layers of ash covered and preserved the oldest known footprints of early humans.