Evolution

Homo erectus 200,000 Years Older Than We Thought


Fossil hominins from South Africa are enriching the story of early human evolution and dispersal. Herries et al.
describe the geological context and courting of the hominin-bearing
infilled cave, or palaeocave, at a website known as Drimolen in South Africa
(see the Perspective by Antón). They concentrate on the age and context of a
not too long ago found Homo erectus sensu lato fossil and a Paranthropus robustus
fossil, which they dated to ∼2.04 million to 1.95 million years in the past.
This makes Drimolen one of many best-dated websites in South Africa and
establishes these fossils because the oldest definitive specimens of their
respective species ever found. The age confirms that species of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and early Homo overlapped within the karst of South Africa ∼2 million years in the past

The goofy factor about that is that, in East Africa,  early Homo was nonetheless operating round and out-competing the strong australopithecines (Paranthropus).  The fossil was uncovered and described over a 5 yr interval on the website of Drimolen, which is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Web site in South Africa that accommodates the necessary fossil websites of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein. 

From the UPI story:

“One of many questions that pursuits us is what position altering
habitats, sources, and the distinctive organic diversifications of early
Homo erectus might have performed within the eventual extinction of Australopithecus sediba in South Africa,” mentioned examine co-author Justin Adams, researcher at Monash College’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute.


“Comparable traits are additionally seen in different mammal species right now.
For instance, there are a couple of species of false sabre tooth cat
, Dinofelis,
on the website — one in every of which turned extinct after two million years,”
Adams mentioned. “Our information reinforces the truth that South Africa represented a
actually distinctive combination of evolutionary lineages — a blended group of
historical and trendy mammal species that was transitioning as climates
and ecosystems modified.”

Just some quick years in the past, it was thought that Australopithecus sediba is likely to be ancestral to early Homo primarily based on the traits of its fingers, pelvis and the proximity of stone instruments to the Rising Star Cave.  This was an concept championed by Lee Berger, nevertheless it now appears seemingly that it was one other, earlier type that gave rise to Homo erectus

Right here is the picture of DNH134, taken by Jesse Martin, Reanud Joannes-Boyau, and Andy I. R. Herries


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