Research Article

Geological Setting and Age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa

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Science  09 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5975, pp. 205-208
DOI: 10.1126/science.1184950

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From Australopithecus to Homo

Our genus Homo is thought to have evolved a little more than 2 million years ago from the earlier hominid Australopithecus. But there are few fossils that provide detailed information on this transition. Berger et al. (p. 195; see the cover) now describe two partial skeletons, including most of the skull, pelvis, and ankle, of a new species of Australopithecus that are informative. The skeletons were found in a cave in South Africa encased in sediments dated by Dirks et al. (p. 205) to about 1.8 to 1.9 million years ago. The fossils share many derived features with the earliest Homo species, including in its pelvis and smaller teeth, and imply that the transition to Homo was in stages.

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