Fossil Jaw Turns Back Clock on Human Evolution
The fossil record linking Australopithecus specimens like Lucy to Homo, the genus to which humans belong, is spotty. But a newly discovered fossil jaw provides a glimpse at that little-known time period between two and three million years ago, and pushes the date of Homo‘s appearance to 2.8 million years ago—400,000 years earlier than previous estimates. Brian Villmoare and colleagues describe the fossil in Science Express.
Brian Villmoare is an assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology at University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fred Spoor is a paleontologist at University College London in London, England.
Chalachew Seyoum is a graduate student at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.