Rare Skeleton Shown Of Human Ancestor, 3.6 Million Years Old

Rare Skeleton Shown Of Human Ancestor, 3.6 Million Years Old

A virtually complete Australopithecus fossil is displayed at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Researchers in South Africa have unveiled what they call “by far the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor older than 1.5 million years ever found.” (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

“By far the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor older than 1.5 million years ever found”

Researchers in South Africa, at the University of the Witwatersrand, have unveiled a complete Australopithecus fossil on Wednesday.

It has taken 20 years to excavate, clean, reconstruct and analyze the skeleton, which was very fragile. All happened thanks to Professor Ron Clarke and his assistants.

It dates back 3.6 million years and will surely help researchers understand human ancestor’s appearance and movement.

“The discovery is a source of pride for Africans,” said Robert Blumenschine, chief scientist with the organization that funded the excavation, the Paleontological Scientific Trust (PAST).

“Not only is Africa the storehouse of the ancient fossil heritage for people the world over, it was also the wellspring of everything that makes us human, including our technological prowess, our artistic ability and our supreme intellect,” said Blumenschine.

Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Witswatersrand, hailed the assembly of the full skeleton and said: “This is a landmark achievement for the global scientific community and South Africa’s heritage. It is through important discoveries like Little Foot that we obtain a glimpse into our past which helps us to better understand our common humanity.”

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