[xmca] Human evolution child hominin discovery

From: Phil Chappell (philchappell@mac.com)
Date: Fri Oct 27 2006 - 23:40:46 PDT

Interesting from a phylogenetic perspective.


"The skull of the Dikika baby, a 3.3-million-year-old infant
discovered by Ethiopian paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged. The
find is the most complete ancient infant and arguably the best fossil
of its species, Australopithecus afarensis, ever found."


"...details rarely seen in a fossil australopith, among them a full
set of both milk teeth and unerupted adult teeth. All of her tiny
ribs were positioned, as in life, along a sinuous spinal column.
Several fingers were still curled in a tiny grasp, and where her
throat once was, Zeresenay found a rare example of a hyoid bone, a
bone that later became crucial to human speech. The discovery offers
an early glimpse of the evolution of the human voice box, says Fred
Spoor of University College London, another member of the study team."
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