A two-million-year-old skull has been discovered in South Africa by Australian researchers. According to them, the skull can provide more information on human evolution. The skull, a male Paranthropus robustus, is believed to be a “cousin species” to Homo erectus, as BBC details:
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The two species lived around the same time, but Paranthropus robustus died out earlier.
The research team described the find as exciting.
“Most of the fossil record is just a single tooth here and there so to have something like this is very rare, very lucky,” Dr Angeline Leece told the BBC.
The researchers, from Melbourne’s La Trobe University, found the skull’s fragments in 2018 at the Drimolen archaeological site north of Johannesburg.
It was uncovered just metres away from a spot where a similarly aged Homo erectus skull of a child was discovered in 2015.
Archaeologists then spent the past few years piecing together and analysing the fossil. Their findings were published in the Nature, Ecology and Evolution journal on Tuesday.
Co-researcher Jesse Martin told the BBC that handling the fossil pieces was like working with “wet cardboard”, adding he had used plastic straws to suck the last traces of dirt off them.
Image via BBC