News of the WeekPaleoanthropology

First Member of Human Family Uncovered

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Science  12 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5579, pp. 171-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5579.171b

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At the dawn of human evolution, 6 million years ago and more, there is a crucial gap when next to nothing is known. Now in this week's issue of Nature, paleontologists fill the gap with a partial skull, dated to 6 million to 7 million years ago, that is the oldest known hominid, the lineage that includes humans but not other apes. The next oldest published hominid skull is almost 3 million years younger.