Thursday, October 12, 2006


The Australopithecus skeleton 'Little Foot': Event + Links

From the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa: In 1997, Professor Ron Clarke, the renowned Wits University palaeo-anthropologist, made great strides in world palaeontology when he unearthed the first known complete Australopithecus skeleton, known as "Little Foot".

Clarke's historic find is unique because it is the only complete adult Australopithecus skeleton known. However, its importance stems also from the fact that many elements of the find are themselves unique. These are that the discovery has produced the only complete skull of an adult Australopithecus, the only complete hand, complete arm and complete leg. Each one of these reveals a wealth of information about our ancestry, and taken together, provides unparalleled insights into our past.

A long, painstaking process of careful excavation is releasing the skeleton from the concrete-like cave infill, and exciting information about our evolution has been revealed, as the bones are uncovered. Significant parts of "Little Foot" will soon be brought up to the sunlight into a world very different from that which it left, when it fell into the depths of the cavern 3.3 million years ago.

Clarke will highlight the importance of this unique discovery, as well as many others made at Sterkfontein and nearby sites in the past 70 years at the fourth keynote Standard Bank Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST), lecture: Out of the Lime Quarry into the Limelight: the Renaissance of Little Foot, to be held at the Wits Great Hall on 24 October 2006, at 6pm. [Continued at the above link] [Anthropology, Paleontology]

See Ron Clarke's "Origin of Species and Evolution" (pdf file)

And the TalkOrigins page "Fossil Hominids: Stw 573 (Little Foot)", plus Science in Africa's "Little foot; big footprint"

Books on Human Origins from the Science and Evolution Bookshop: UK | US

Books on Dinosaurs from the Science and Evolution Bookshop: UK | US

Books on Paleontology from the Science and Evolution Bookshop: UK | US

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