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Australopithecus

Little Foot skull still in place in the Sterkfontein cave.

Scientists estimate fossilized pre-human creature lived 3.67 million years ago

In 2015. cientists announced an earlier time frame than previously estimated for the lifetime of an early proto-human dubbed Little Foot – as much as 3.67 million years ago. The nearly complete...
Model of the foot (with missing elements) of the Australopithecus afarensis Dikika child.

The Dikka Child Toddled Over the Ethiopian Landscape 200,000 Years Before Lucy

More than 3 million years ago, our ancient human ancestors, including their toddler-aged children, were standing on two feet and walking upright, according to a new study published in Science...
Professor Ron Clarke busy excavating the Little Foot Skull from the Sterkfontein Caves.

Most Complete Ancient Human Relative Skeleton Is Unveiled

South Africa's status as a major cradle in the African nursery of humankind has been reinforced with today's unveiling of "Little Foot," the country's oldest, virtually complete fossil human ancestor...
Artistic representation of an Australopithecus family. Australopithecus afarensis like “Lucy” may have required some help in childbirth.

The Evolution of Human Birth: An Incredible Story a Million Years in the Making

A team of scientists claim that they have found a mask depicting an Australopithecus afarensis, a human ancestor that could have possibly given birth in a way that combines the childbirth practices...
3.6-Million-Year-Old Footprints Imply That an Ancient Hominin Was a Tall, Dominant, and Polygamous Male

3.6-Million-Year-Old Footprints Imply That an Ancient Hominin Was a Tall, Dominant, and Polygamous Male

Footprints belonging to a group of early hominins who lived 3.6 million years ago were recently uncovered in Tanzania. The footprints indicate Australopithecus afarensis probably had a gorilla-like...
A view of the fossilized, 1.7-million-year-old hominin toe bone upon which the cancerous tumor was diagnosed.

Researchers Diagnose Earliest Known Cancer on 1.7-Million-Year-Old Hominin Fossil

Scientists have identified a particularly lethal form of cancer on the fossilized toe bone of an early human relative who lived about 1.7 million years ago in South Africa. The tumor is the oldest...
One Million Years of the Human Story at the Natural History Museum.

Bigger Brains Led to Bigger Bodies in Our Ancestors

New research suggests that humans became the large-brained, large-bodied animals we are today because of natural selection to increase brain size. The work, published in the journal Current...
A. afarensis reconstruction, an adult left ulna of Australopithecus afarensis. Several fossilized teeth have also been found in the Kantis site. Credit: Image courtesy of Kyoto University

Australopithecus Fossils Found East of the Great Rift Valley

New fossils from Kenya suggest that an early hominid species -- Australopithecus afarensis -- lived far eastward beyond the Great Rift Valley and much farther than previously thought. An...
Top 10 Human Origins Discoveries in 2015

Top 10 Human Origins Discoveries in 2015

In 2015, DNA analysis provided deeper insight into the lives of our ancient ancestors. Studies of their appearance, diet, living conditions, and the human family tree, were all hot topics. Research...
A Homo Naledi Foot (a) Dorsal view (b) Distal view of the cuneiforms and the cuboid in which the reconstruction of the transverse arc is observed (c) Middle view showing the moderate longitudinal arch. Scale in centimeters.
A portrait painted by John Cooke in 1915 showing scientists involved in the Piltdown man case: F. O. Barlow, G. Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, Arthur Smith Woodward. Front row: A. S. Underwood, Arthur Keith, W. P. Pycraft, and Sir Ray Lankester.

Piltdown Man: The scandal that delayed the study of human origins by decades

For a long time in archaeology, and even in the popular media, there was discussion of a missing link in the archaeological/paleontological fossil record between apes and humans. In 1911, Englishman...
Researchers said in 2010 these animal bones, found in sediment dated about 3.4 million years ago, had been deliberately cut, apparently by a creatures of a pre-human hominin species, Australopithecus.

Pre-human ancestors may have used tools to butcher animals 3.4 million years ago

Some animals, including chimpanzees, crows, elephants, sea otters and dolphins, are known to use tools to extract food from their environment and for other functions. But what really sets people...
Casts of the jaws of Australopithecus deyiremeda

Fossil Find Reveals New Species of Early Human - Origins of Modern Man Gets Crowded

Make room, Lucy! A fossil of a 3.4 million-year-old hominin has been found by researchers who say this could be an entirely new species of early human, previously unknown to history. This new and...
‘The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopa’ exhibit at Houston Museum of Natural Science featuring a model of “Lucy”, Australopithecus Afarensis.

Oldest Tools in the World Found at Lake Turkana, Predate Early Humans

Half a million years before early humans arrived on the scene, the prehistoric hominins living in East Africa were shaping tools out of stone. These rare artifacts have been discovered by scientists...
Ancient Hominid Fossil in South Africa

Ancient Hominid Fossil Dated to 3 Million Years

After more than a decade of excavation work, the nearly complete skeleton of the Australopithecus fossil called Little Foot, so named for the diminutive size of the bones, has been convincingly dated...
Malapa Cave

Archaeologists to seek remains of new human species in South African Cave

The National Geographic’s expert explorer, Lee Berger of South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand, is about to launch a new expedition of an elaborate cave system in South Africa. The aim is to...