Africa's Next Top Hominid

April 9, 2010

Rheanna Sand

Science in Seconds Blog by Rheanna Sand

Anthropology is SO Hollywood these days. A girl can't get more than a few moments in the spotlight before some other skeleton takes her place.

First, there was Lucy. Then came Ardi - a more ancient ancestor of humans that burst on to the scene in October 2009. And now, a brand new hominid has been discovered in a cave in South Africa, Australopithecus sediba, and she has provided good evidence that humans descended from the Australopithecus line and not from the Kenyanthropus genus, as some thought. Can't a girl get a break?

Apparently not. Lee Berger and colleagues report in the April 9 2010 issue of Science on two partial skeletons, an adult female and juvenile male, that share many features of our Homo genus - pelvises suited to upright walking and smaller teeth - while still retaining many early Australopithecus traits, like smaller body size and tree-climbing capabilities.

It seems this new hominid was comfortable in both niches - you know, like how Lindsay Lohan is good at acting AND singing? This might explain why they found the female skeleton in what looks to be an ancient club bathroom with her arms wrapped around a fossilized toilet.

Don't worry Lucy and Ardi, we all know what happens to these new, young starlets. They have no staying power. Just be respectable, stop flashing so much skin in the museums, and soon you will be the Judy Dench and Meryl Streep of the anthropology world.

In the meantime, science will keep searching for, and hyping up, Africa's Next Top Hominid!

If I call your name, please step forward...


DOI: 10.1126/science.1184944



Email (optional)


© 2010 Science in Seconds. All rights reserved.     Disclaimer  |  Contact  |  Subscribe
Friend Science in Seconds on Facebook Follow Science in Seconds on Twitter Science in Seconds RSS Feed