2.8 Million-Year-Old Fossil Human Jaw Of The 'First Human' Found In Ethiopia

By @Guneet_B on
Fossil
A fossil human jawbone belonging to the oldest group of human species has been discovered in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. The modern species of humans are thought to be evolved from the found species that dates back to 400000 years. In Picture: A worker paints a replica of cro-magnon skulls in the workshop of Belgian animal sculptor Emmanuel Janssens Casteels, in Prayssas December 3, 2014. Casteels' company OPHYS specializes in life-size reconstructions and the sculpting or moulding reproductions of animals and hyper-realist fossils. His reconstructions are exhibited in museums and theme parks. In Picture: A worker paints a replica of cro-magnon skulls in the workshop of Belgian animal sculptor Emmanuel Janssens Casteels, in Prayssas December 3, 2014. Casteels' company OPHYS specializes in life-size reconstructions and the sculpting or moulding reproductions of animals and hyper-realist fossils. His reconstructions are exhibited in museums and theme parks. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

A team of scientists has discovered a rare human jaw fossil in Ethiopia, which is believed to date back to 2.8 million years ago. The fossil is believed to belong to the oldest identified member of the human family, Homo habilis, and a predecessor of the modern-day Homo sapiens.

According to the scientists, the newly discovered artefact is a key link that could solve the puzzle of evolutionary gap that exists between the apelike human ancestors and the modern human.

The latest fossil, called LD 350-1, is the biggest milestone achieved in the fossil discovery after a fossil dating back to 2.3 million years was found. LD 350-1 has been discovered just 20 miles away from the site where the old fossil was discovered. The age of the fossil has been determined using several fossil dating techniques, including rediometric analysis.

The scientists among the fossil-hunters are excited about the discovery. According to them, it's a rare fossil that has been discovered after umpteen failed attempts in the past decade that only led to the discovery of poorly preserved fossils.

"To have a glimpse of the very earliest phase of our lineage's evolution is particularly exciting," said one of the fossil-hunters, Dr Brian Villmoare from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

According to the scientists, the shape and size of the mandible in the jaw bone clearly indicate the transitioning phase between Australopethecus and Homo.

The report about the discovery of the fossil has been published in the journal Science.

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