22 September 2006

Ancient child

The fossilized skeleton of a three-year-old Australopithecus afarensis child who died 3,300,000 years ago has been discovered in Ethiopia. This article includes a reconstructed portrait.

Since the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees is estimated to have lived about 6,000,000 years ago, and the date assigned to the skeleton is about halfway between that point and the present, it's not surprising that the reconstructed face looks curiously intermediate between human and chimpanzee.

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