Tuesday , September 27 2022

Scientists say that the pair of old hominid skeletons found in South Africa are of the same species


Malapa Hominin 1 (male) and Malapa Hominin 2 (female) were of the same hominin species. After a decade of analysis, scientists concluded that skeletons discovered in South Africa were Australopithecus sediba. ( Elisabeth Daynes Sculpture / Photo S. Entressangle | Museum of Natural History of the University of Michigan )

A couple of skeletons developed a decade ago initially thought that they were of two different species of hominids, but new research claims that they are, in fact, of the same species.

The skeletons, called Malapa Hominin 1 (male) and Malapa Hominin 2 (women), were discovered from a place in South Africa, the cradle of life. Both skeletons have an antiquity of 2 million years.

The research appears in the magazine PaleoAntropology as part of a complete series focusing on Australopithecus sediba (A. sediba), a kind of hominin discovered in South Africa in 2008.

The Malapa skeletons were of the same species

During the last decade, researchers have been cutting back the pair of skeletons, which is said to be more complete than the famous "Lucy" discovered in Ethiopia. They analyzed a total of 135 fossils, including the skull, the upper and lower columns, the spine, thorax and pelvis.

His most important discovery is that A. sediba is a species that is different from A. Africanus and the first members of the Homo genus, such as H. habilis. However, new species have some characteristics with the two groups, which means that the three have a "narrow evolutionary relationship."

Scientists thought initially that MH1 and MH2 were of different species due to their differences in the lumbar vertebrae. However, the new analysis of PaleoAntropology researchers found that the differences were because the individuals were not of the same age.

One of the skeletons belonged to a young man who had not yet fully developed the lumbar vertebrate.

"As it happens, both Homo erectus The skeletons that we have are juveniles, so that MH1 is more like them, because it is also juvenile, "said Scott Williams, an anthropologist from the University of New York, who wrote the magazine.

The skeletons were discovered by Lee Berger, professor at the Institute of Evolutive Studies at the Witwatersrand University in South Africa.

More information on new hominid species

The researchers also believed that A. Sediba spent a lot of time climbing trees, either to forge food or to evade predators.

"This larger image sheds light on the lifeways of A. sediba and also in an important transition in the evolution of hominin, that of the species mostly similar to the species included in the genus Australopithecus To the first members of our own genre, Homo, "Williams explained.

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