South African scientists claim to have uncovered the “the most complete skeleton yet of an ancient relative of man”:
The remains of a juvenile hominid skeleton, of the newly identified Australopithecus (southern ape) sediba species, are the “most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered”, University of Witwatersrand palaeontologist Lee Berger said.
The skeleton is thought to be about 2 million years old.
The upright-walking tree climber would have been aged between nine and 13 years when he or she died.
It is not certain whether the species, which had long arms, a small brain and a thumb, was a direct ancestor of humans’ genus, Homo, or simply a close relative.
The Cradle of Humankind, now a World Heritage Site, is the oldest continuous palaeontological dig in the world.
Remains of four A. sediba skeletons have been discovered in South Africa’s Malapa cave, 50 kilometres north of Johannesburg, since 2008. The individuals are believed to have fallen into a pit in the cave and died.
Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald.