News & AnalysisPaleoanthropology

A New Face Reveals Multiple Lineages Alive at the Dawn of Our Genus Homo

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 635
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6095.635

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


After 40 years of searching, an international team of researchers has found fossils of a face and two jawbones that they say belong to the same species as the mysterious skull of Homo rudolfensis. Like the first find, the new fossils were unearthed at Koobi Fora on the east side of Lake Turkana in Kenya. Together, they show that the original skull wasn't a "weird individual," and that a third type of early Homo did indeed live 1.78 million to 2.03 million years ago at Koobi Fora. That means multiple lineages of early Homo lived at Koobi Fora at the same time as our direct ancestor H. erectus, which lived about 1.8 million to 500,000 years ago in Africa and Asia.