Wednesday, September 20, 2006
From the Washington Post: New York - Scientists have discovered a remarkably complete skeleton of a 3-year-old female (Selam) from the ape-man species represented by 'Lucy.'
The discovery should fuel a contentious debate about whether this species, which walked upright, also climbed and moved through trees easily like an ape.
The remains are 3.3 million years old, making them the oldest known skeleton of such a youthful human ancestor.
"It's pretty unbelievable" to find such a complete fossil from that long ago, said scientist Fred Spoor. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime find."
Spoor, professor of evolutionary anatomy at University College London, describes the fossil in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature with Zeresenay Alemseged of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and other scientists.
In addition to the above Washington Post article, other reports include the journal Nature's "Little 'Lucy' fossil found", the National Geographic's "Lucy's Baby - World's Oldest Child - Found by Fossil Hunters", and the BBC News UK's "'Lucy's baby' found in Ethiopia"
The reports are based on two Nature papers:
"A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia" (Abstract)
"Geological and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia" (Abstract)
[Evolution, Paleontological, Hominid]
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