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Palaeontology

Human ancestor facial reconstructions revealed

By T.K. Randall
March 5, 2021 · Comment icon 5 comments

Lucy (left) and Taung child (right). Image Credit: R. Campbell, G. Vinas, M. Henneberg, R. Diogo
Scientists have painstakingly recreated the faces of two of our earliest ancestors dating back millions of years.
When paleoanthropologist Donald C. Johanson first discovered the fossilized bones of an early hominin species dating back 3.2 million years while on an expedition in Ethiopia, the find was celebrated as one of the most significant palaeontological discoveries ever made.

Named 'Lucy', this ancient ancestor of modern humans belonged to a species known as Australopithecus afarensis - a primitive ape-like biped with long arms and curved fingers.

While there have been many attempts over the years to reconstruct what Lucy might have looked like, many of the artists have made unverifiable assumptions about certain physical attributes, resulting in impressive, yet often inaccurate representations of her appearance.

This latest effort however is not only the most accurate to date but also the most transparent - revealing precisely how researchers created it and what assumptions were made.

The image (above) also includes a reconstruction of another ancient human specimen - an individual named 'Taung child' who was discovered in South Africa and dates back 2.8 million years.

These faces represent an intriguing look at the faces of our ancestors and serve as a window back to a time when our progenitors were not that unlike the great apes we see today.

It's a poignant reminder of just how far our species has come over the last few million years.

Source: Live Science | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by OverSword 3 years ago
The two black and white renderings without hair added humanizes them a bit, otherwise they just look like chimps.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Orphalesion 3 years ago
Well Chimps and Bonobos are our closest relatives, and considering Lucy is a very, very early hominin, it makes sense they'd look similar.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Occupational Hubris 3 years ago
Human origins are fascinating. All the twists turns, branches and dead ends.
Comment icon #4 Posted by openozy 3 years ago
I know a family that I believe have thrown back to these. My best friend is known as my mate the primate, he rides a Harley with Ape Hanger handle bars, his sister is known as monkey girl around town. They are cool people and well liked but they are a bit of a shock when you first meet them, lol.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Berwen 3 years ago
We have to ask the question "just how far have we really come" It will all be irrelevant if we continue to destroy our planet. 


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