Discovery of Skull Brings Evolution of Humans into Question

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Ancient_skull_620x350A human skull that has been fossilizing for almost two million years has been the focus of multiple recent science news articles, forcing scientists to take another look at the previously-thought explanations for human evolution. Discovered in Dmanisi, Georgia in Asia, the skull has proven to be one of the most interesting, yet controversial, finds to date. Never before has a complete human skull from an ancient ancestor from the early Pleistocene been found.

Researchers from the Anthropological Institute of Zurich University worked on the remains of this skull, along with those of other skulls found at the same site. Over-shadowing what the researchers feel is an extraordinary discovery are the implications that have come with it. Previous research has led to the naming of numerous species of human ancestors which are now being brought into question. Believed to be an early form of Homo erectus, the skull appears to have similar body proportions to those of humans today. This skull indicates that the species migrated as far east as Asia soon after they arose in Africa.

The newest skull was that of an adult male, exhibiting a long face and larger teeth. Even so, it had a smaller braincase than any of the others collected at the site. Scientists have determined that although the dimensions of the mystery skull were odd, in comparison to the other skulls, they were no more so than those shared among different humans or in chimps today. The only conclusion that scientists could come to, after numerous evaluations of all the evidence, was that all of the human ancestors living in Dmanisi at that time likely were Homo erectus.

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