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New fossil skull reveals tangled human roots

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A two million-year-old flat-faced skull pulled from the sandstones of east Africa has shored up claims that at least three species of early humans once co-existed in an “evolutionary experiment” that saw an explosive increase in brain size paired with radically different faces, teeth, and jaws.

While the new partial skull and two newly found jawbones look radically different from modern humans, they match an enigmatic, nearly complete skull found 40 years ago that paleoanthropologists have long struggled to fit into the human family tree.

Together, the new finds and the puzzling skull describe a species of early humans clearly distinct from two others known from fossils from the same period, said Meave Leakey, the 70-year-old paleoanthropologist who led the team that discovered the fossils.

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doesnt really look flat faced unless its meant to be missing a nose

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Interesting.

Thanks QM.

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doesnt really look flat faced unless its meant to be missing a nose

You're seeing more than I do.

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Interesting stuff, cheers QM.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, this is a great discovery. It is 1 piece of the evolutionary puzzle that will one day shed light on the entire chain of life on this planet earth.

When early humans found large dinosaur bones, they imagined a race of "Gods" that lived before them.

I only wish I could be around in a thousand years, when we will have a "nearly complete" library of fossils that trace all life on earth. This is still a great time to be alive and witness these first few discoveries. Just try to imagine how your life would be if you were born 7 thousand years ago.

Edited by Pyridium

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doesnt really look flat faced unless its meant to be missing a nose

Ah, but it is. All humans, and many of our extinct hominid relatives, have flat faces. This is in comparison to old world apes like chimps, which have very prognathic faces, which is where the jaw juts out past the face and the forehead is slanted.

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Great find

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