Monday, 5 April 2010

Human Evolutionary Missing Link Discovered in South Africa

Scientists believe that a 2 million old fossil skeleton of a young child discovered in South Africa could represent an entirely new species and could be the intermediary evolutionary step between our more ape-like ancestors and modern humans.

Scientists are hoping that studying the fossilised remains will help them to understand how humans started walking on two feet.  Unlike earlier finds that comprised mainly of teeth and bone fragements, this skeleton, which was found in the Malapa cave in the Sterkfontein region of South Africa, is almost complete. To have a spinal column, pelvis and leg and arm bones could gives the clues as to whether this species walked fully unpright or on all fours.  Studying the hand bones could also show how dextrous this species was.

Hopefully this new fossil will help scientists piece together how the apelike Australopithecus evolved into the more human Homo Habilis around 2.4 million years ago.

Read the full news article on finding the missing link in human evolution

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