A systematic assessment of early African hominids

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Science  26 Jan 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4378, pp. 321-330
DOI: 10.1126/science.104384


A large sample of Pliocene fossil hominid remains has been recovered from the African sites of Hadar in Ethiopia and Laetolil in Tanzania. These collections, dating approximately between 2.9 and 3.8 million years ago, constitute the earliest substantial record of the family Hominidae. This article assesses the phylogenetic relationships of the newly discovered fossil hominids and provides a taxonomy consistent with that assessment. A new taxon, Australopithecus afarensis, has been created to accommodate these Pliocene hominid fossils.

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