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Nature22 March 2001
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Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Archaeology: The human family expands

Nature cover 22 March 2001
Photo: National Museums of Kenya.

Recent field expeditions to the western shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya, have recovered new fossil evidence showing that in eastern Africa the human family had diversified into a variety of forms as long ago as the middle Pliocene. The finds, include KNM-WT 40000, shown on the cover, which at 3.5 million years old is the oldest, reasonably complete hominin cranium known to date. Showing a unique combination of 'modern-looking' facial and primitive neurocranial features this specimen differs markedly from contemporary Australopithecus afarensis (such as 'Lucy'), and is assigned to a new genus of hominin.

article
New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages
MEAVE G. LEAKEY, FRED SPOOR, FRANK H. BROWN, PATRICK N. GATHOGO, CHRISTOPHER KIARIE, LOUISE N. LEAKEY, IAN MCDOUGALL
Nature 410, 433-440 (22 March 2001)
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news and views
Another face in our family tree
DANIEL E. LIEBERMAN
The evolutionary history of humans is complex and unresolved. It now looks set to be thrown into further confusion by the discovery of another species and genus, dated to 3.5 million years ago.
Nature 410, 419-420 (22 March 2001)
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22 March 2001 table of contents

 

   
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