Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ancient Skull Turns Evolutionary Tree On Its Head

evolution, skull, man, homo erectus, early man, ancient

Did the human family tree just get simpler? Skull stirs up debate

Putting together the pieces of a 1.8 million-year-old skull from the former Soviet republic of Georgia has led researchers to a surprising conclusion: Specimens that supposedly represent several early human species might be merely different-sized individuals from the same species.

If the conclusion holds up, the skull discovery would require a major rewrite for the story of early human evolution. Such species as Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, long a part of humanity's "bushy" family tree, could be folded into a wide-ranging species known as Homo erectus.

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