Thursday, September 21, 2006

NYT Reports on Early Human Fossil Find

Today's New York Times reports the finding of the 3 million year old skeleton of a three year old Australopithecus afarensis girl. This little girl, named Selam (which means peace in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia) is the most intact child skeleton found from this period. Her skeleton adds to the already overwhelming evidence for human evolution.

According to the Times:

Her lower limbs supported earlier findings that afarensis walked upright,
like modern humans. But gorillalike arms and shoulders suggested that
she possibly retained an ancestral ability to climb and swing through the trees.

The lead scientist, Zeresenay Alemsweged reports his findings in the September 21, 2006 volume of Nature. In addition, Nature has an entire section on its website devoted to this find and to the field of paleoanthropology more generally.
http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/hominiddevelopment/index.html
Many of the articles are free.

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