The Earliest Child: Learning from Juvenile Hominin Fossils

April 12, 2008

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A multidisciplinary paleoanthropological research team led by Ethiopian paleoanthropologist Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged has been conducting field work in the Dikika region of the North Eastern Ethiopia - between 2000 and 2004, the research group uncovered an almost complete skeleton of a three year old juvenile Australopithecus afarensis, dubbed “Selam” in sediments dated to ca. 3.3 million years old.  Preliminary investigations of this extraordinary discovery are shedding fresh light on many aspects of the paleobiology of this ancient species and other early hominins in general.  This discovery documents for the first time a comprehensive skeletal anatomy of juvenile early hominins allowing us to understand how they looked like at young age - listen as Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged himself discusses the find.

 

Recorded Saturday, April 12, 2008 at The Field Museum.