From New York University in the USA:
Man’s earliest direct ancestors looked more apelike than previously believed
First humans retained surprisingly apelike features, NYU study reveals
Modern man”s earliest known close ancestor was significantly more apelike than previously believed, a New York University College of Dentistry professor has found.
A computer-generated reconstruction by Dr. Timothy Bromage, a paleoanthropologist and Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials and of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, shows a 1.9 million-year-old skull belonging to Homo rudolfensis, the earliest member of the human genus, with a surprisingly small brain and distinctly protruding jaw, features commonly associated with more apelike members of the hominid family living as much as three million years ago.
Dr. Bromage”s findings call into question the extent to which H. rudolfensis differed from earlier, more apelike hominid species.
Specifically, he is the first scientist to produce a reconstruction of the skull that questions renowned paleontologist and archeologist Richard Leakey”s depiction of modern man”s earliest direct ancestor as having a vertical facial profile and a relatively large brain – an interpretation widely accepted until now.
Dr. Bromage”s reconstruction also suggests that humans developed a larger brain and more vertical face with a less pronounced jaw and smaller teeth at least 300,000 years later than commonly believed, perhaps as recently as 1.6 million to one million years ago, when two later species, H. ergaster and H. erectus, lived.
Dr. Bromage presented his findings today at the annual scientific session of the International Association for Dental Research in New Orleans.
Women in prehistory: here.