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Press Release 10-051

Geologists Uncover Major Ancient Human Ancestor in South Africa

Fossil hominid skeletons date to nearly two million years ago

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Photo of skeletal parts of two-million-year-old Australopithicus sediba, southern ape.

Two-million-year-old Australopithicus sediba (southern ape), a new species of hominid.

Credit: Wits University


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Hill slopes surrounding the newly discovered Malapa site in South Africa.

Hill slopes surrounding the newly discovered Malapa site in South Africa.

Credit: Wits University


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Illustration showing how Austalopithecus sediba may have fallen into a geologic death trap.

Austalopithecus sediba may have fallen into a geologic "death trap."

Credit: Wit University


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Photo of excavations at Malapa, South Africa.

Excavations at Malapa, within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa.

Credit: Wits University


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Photo of scientists working at the Malapa site near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Scientists working at the Malapa site near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Credit: Wits University


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Photo showing excavated blocks rich in fossil remains from Malapa.

Excavated blocks rich in fossil remains from Malapa.

Credit: Wits University


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Cover of the April 9, 2010 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' findings appear in the April 9, 2010 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2010


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