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Thanks to an advanced method of dating archaeological remains, it has been possible to know that the remains of the best-known Australopithecus, which they have named Little Foot, are about 3.67 million years old, which shows that this hominid lived in a time similar to or even earlier than the well-known Lucy, who is credited with being the oldest ancestor of man.
After conducting a thorough analysis of the minerals found in the Sterkfontein cave in South Africa, where Little Foot was found more than two decades ago, it is shown that lived in a time similar to Lucy's, where its remains have an appraisal of approximately 3.2 million years.
Although both hominids populated our planet at similar times, the international team of researchers who have worked on this study has highlighted that have very different characteristics. For example, the skeleton that was found in the Sterkfontein cave belongs to the genus Australopithecus Prometheus, which is quite different from Australopithecus africanus, to which Lucy belongs, who has a larger body size, with a flatter skull and more teeth. pronounced.
As the new dating reveals, the new hominid found belongs to the same time as the first Australopithecus africanus in Ethiopia, where Lucy was found in the mid-1970s. At that time, finding Lucy meant discovering that man's ancestors could walk upright more than three million years ago.
It should be noted that the team of researchers has highlighted that due to the large morphological differences between both remainsThis finding raises many and varied questions about the geographic distribution, diversity, and different relationships between hominin species that occurred in Africa.
As a curious note, the anthropologist Ronald J. Clarke, baptized Little Foot since the first remains that were found of this body were his feet. For her part, Lucy owes her name to a Beatles song, “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”, A theme that sounded at the time that paleontologists discovered the first bones.
Excavations continue to try find more remains And according to the researchers, the Little Foot finding has given us a hunch about being able to find more surprises in this place, so we will have to be patient to get it.
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