Paleoanthropology. Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Villmoare, Brian; Kimbel, William H; Seyoum, Chalachew; Campisano, Christopher J; DiMaggio, Erin N; Rowan, John; Braun, David R; Arrowsmith, J Ramón; Reed, Kaye E
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Science
Volume: 347
Issue: 6228
Pagination: 1352-5
Date Published: 2015 Mar 20
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1095-9203
Keywords: Animals, Biological Evolution, Ethiopia, Fossils, Hominidae, Humans, Mandible, Tooth

Our understanding of the origin of the genus Homo has been hampered by a limited fossil record in eastern Africa between 2.0 and 3.0 million years ago (Ma). Here we report the discovery of a partial hominin mandible with teeth from the Ledi-Geraru research area, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, that establishes the presence of Homo at 2.80 to 2.75 Ma. This specimen combines primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo, confirming that dentognathic departures from the australopith pattern occurred early in the Homo lineage. The Ledi-Geraru discovery has implications for hypotheses about the timing and place of origin of the genus Homo.

DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1343
Alternate Journal: Science