Thursday, September 21, 2006

Australopithecus afarensis child

From the Washington Post comes the story of a three year old girl that, apparently, got washed away in a flood and drowned----3.3 million years ago. The almost complete remains belong to Australopithecus afarensis, a hominid that lived from about 4 mya to about 3 mya. States the author:

Scientists are still painstakingly extracting the fossilized bones from the surrounding stone, but they have already made striking discoveries, dramatically reinforcing the idea that the creatures were a transitional stage between apes and humans. Although they had legs like humans that enabled them to walk upright on two feet, they also had shoulders like gorillas that may have enabled them to climb trees; although their teeth seem to have grown quickly, like chimps' teeth, their brains may have matured more slowly, like those of humans.

This is exciting. Unfortunately, palaeoanthropologist Fred Spoor is quoted as saying:

"If you imagine how this child would have sounded if it was crying out for its mother, its cry would appeal more to chimp ears than to human ears. Even though it's a very early human ancestor, she would sound more apelike than humanlike."

It will soon be claimed by the YEC supporters that this form was not human at all.

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