Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia

Brian Villmoare, William Kimbel, Chalachew Seyoum, Christopher Campisano, Erin N. DiMaggio, John Rowan, David R. Braun, Ramon Arrowsmith, Kaye Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our understanding of the origin of the genus Homo has been hampered by a limited fossil record in eastern Africa between 2.0 and 3.0 million years ago (Ma). Here we report the discovery of a partial hominin mandible with teeth from the Ledi-Geraru research area, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, that establishes the presence of Homo at 2.80 to 2.75 Ma. This specimen combines primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo, confirming that dentognathic departures from the australopith pattern occurred early in the Homo lineage. The Ledi-Geraru discovery has implications for hypotheses about the timing and place of origin of the genus Homo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1352-1355
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume347
Issue number6228
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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