Friday, April 9, 2010

Fossil finds give clues to ancestors

THE two-million-year-old skeletal remains of a juvenile male and an adult female, discovered in a South African cave, may be those of the direct ancestors of the first humans to walk the earth.

The claim -- from an international team led by James Cook University geologist Paul Dirks and Lee Berger, a paleoanthropologist at Johannesburg's Witwatersrand University -- is a big one.

The newfound species has been named Australopithecus sediba, a blend of the established Latin term for "southern ape" and the word for "wellspring" in the SeSotho language.

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