Color Style Kyle

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Latest Human Fossils – Scientists Claim Man Can Coexist with His Relatives

Posted by Kyle Design on August 14, 2007

I was interested to read that a team led by Maeve Leakey released news of fossil remainsSkull Flask for Liquor, Wine or Alcohol in which they claim that two lines of early humans coexisted with each other. Further, they claim that neither was the direct ancestor of modern humans, instead suggesting that there is yet another missing ancestor which still has not been found.

The scientists concluded that the new remains were those of Homo habilis (dated to 1.44 million years ago) and Home erectus (dated to 1.5 million years ago). These conclusions seem to fly in the face of all the fossil evidence found to date regarding these early human ancestors and were questioned by many leading anthropologists.

Furthermore, because of the small size of the skull they identified as H. habilis, they claim that there was sexual dimorphism (males being larger than females) in these early humans, much as there is in current gorillas, which had gone undetected until now.

Tim White, who was my professor of anthropology at UC Berkeley back in the early 1980’s, was very skeptical of the claims. This is certainly not the first time he has questioned the conclusions of a Leakey team, as I’ve followed news of any developments in the field since taking his absolutely fascinating class when I was a student. The partial skull is smaller than all the hundreds of other Homo habilis fossils remains found over the years and was found at the surface, making it difficult to accurately date the skull.

White suspects that what they actually found was a half palate of a large Home erectus individual, but that they misidentified it as that of a Homo habilis. He furthermore questions the dating of the fossils announced by Leakey, her daughter Louise and colleague Fred Spoor. Scientists have believed that Homo habilis evolved into Homo erectus based on the large number of fossils found so far.

David DeGusta, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford University, also questioned the identification and dating of the fossils. He believes that even if it is a small Homo erectus skull, the specimen is most likely just that of a juvenile and therefore wouldn’t change any current thinking.

The fossil skulls, teeth and bones were found seven years ago in the Lake Turkana region of Kenya, but the conclusions based on them were only just reported this week in the journal Nature. And so the controversy and debate continues.

For more gifts with skulls, including business card holders, eyeglass cases, holiday ornaments and flasks, visit Kyle Design.

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