Nearly Complete 3.8 Million-Year-Old Skull Of Australopithecus anamensis

Jan 2016
57,388
54,172
Colorado
#6
Here is another article on the same skull, with a little more detail on the significance of the find:

A face for Lucy's ancestor

Australopithecus anamensis is the oldest known member of the genus Australopithecus. Due to the cranium's rare near-complete state, the researchers identified never-before-seen facial features in the species. "MRD has a mix of primitive and derived facial and cranial features that I didn't expect to see on a single individual," Haile-Selassie said. Some characteristics were shared with later species, while others had more in common with those of even older and more primitive early human ancestor groups such as Ardipithecus and Sahelanthropus. "Until now, we had a big gap between the earliest-known human ancestors, which are about 6 million years old, and species like 'Lucy', which are two to three million years old. One of the most exciting aspects of this discovery is how it bridges the morphological space between these two groups," said Melillo.

Much more at the link.
 
Likes: Dangermouse
Mar 2019
8,337
2,934
California
#7
Here is another article on the same skull, with a little more detail on the significance of the find:

A face for Lucy's ancestor

Australopithecus anamensis is the oldest known member of the genus Australopithecus. Due to the cranium's rare near-complete state, the researchers identified never-before-seen facial features in the species. "MRD has a mix of primitive and derived facial and cranial features that I didn't expect to see on a single individual," Haile-Selassie said. Some characteristics were shared with later species, while others had more in common with those of even older and more primitive early human ancestor groups such as Ardipithecus and Sahelanthropus. "Until now, we had a big gap between the earliest-known human ancestors, which are about 6 million years old, and species like 'Lucy', which are two to three million years old. One of the most exciting aspects of this discovery is how it bridges the morphological space between these two groups," said Melillo.

Much more at the link.
Do they mention Brain size? Link was blocked.
 
Jan 2016
57,388
54,172
Colorado
#8
Do they mention Brain size? Link was blocked.
Hmmm, the Science Daily link should not be blocked. It's a free public resource.

But, anyway, no, the Science Daily link did not report the cranial capacity, nor do the abstracts to the full articles in Nature. I don't have access to those full articles. Sometimes I buy an issue of Nature at my local Barnes & Noble, but haven't been there in a few weeks.

However.....the cranial capacity of these early australopithecines was no greater than that of modern chimpanzees, in the range of 400 to 450 cubic centimeters. Not until the genus Homo shows up about 3 million years ago, do you see a significant increase in cranial capacity, probably brought on by a dietary shift to more meat eating.
 
Likes: Friday13