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'Little Foot' human ancestor goes on display


Posted on Friday, 8 December, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

The specimen took over two decades to clean and reconstruct. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Brett Eloff
For the first time ever, South Africa's oldest known hominid skeleton has been unveiled to the public.
First discovered in the Sterkfontein Caves over 20 years ago, the near-complete skeletal remains of Australopithecus - an extinct genus of hominin - have gone on display in Johannesburg.

Nicknamed 'Little Foot', the specimen exhibits a remarkable level of preservation with as much as 90 per cent of its bones intact, save for the kneecaps, feet and parts of the pelvis.

"It has a lot of firsts," said paleoanthropologist Ron Clarke. "It's the first complete skeleton adult, it is the first skeleton that has a complete arm and a complete leg in one individual that can be compared, and it is the oldest in Southern Africa."


The skeleton is now on display at the Hominin Vault at the University of the Witwatersrand's Evolutionary Studies Institute in Johannesburg.

"This is one of the most remarkable fossil discoveries made in the history of human origins research," said Clarke. "And it is a privilege to unveil a finding of this importance today."

Source: National Geographic | Comments (5)

Tags: Hominid, Australopithecus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Piney on 8 December, 2017, 17:09
Another article   https://www.archaeology.org/news/6146-171206-australopithecus-little-foot
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 11 December, 2017, 18:19
I can see all the Native Americans up in arms over the name.  Or at least some offended organization claiming to be representing the Native Americans.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Piney on 11 December, 2017, 18:22
That's more like it. It's always somebody else who decides what's offensive to us....
Comment icon #4 Posted by Carnoferox on 11 December, 2017, 18:31
Why? It was found in Africa and isn't even a Homo sapiens.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 11 December, 2017, 18:35
@Carnoferox You're obviously not one of the United States of the Offended.  It doesn't matter where the fossil was found, we have to  "treat all humans kindly and not make fun of their ethinicity and ethnic background".  Someone's relative could have been named 'Little Foot"


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