She might have had a Little Foot, but human ancestor had mighty ...

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She might have had a Little Foot, but human ancestor had mighty shoulders

New findings shed light on a key period when human ancestors diverged from other apes

Cape Town bureau chief

When Ron Clarke discovered the first bits of the skeleton he later dubbed Little Foot, it was immediately clear to him they belonged to an ape-like creature.

In the years after the initial find in Sterkfontein Cave near Johannesburg, the palaeoanthropologist was able to assemble a near-complete skeleton of a 130cm tall female who lived 3.67 million years ago.

Little Foot – since identified as a member of the species Australopithecus prometheus, one of the main candidates to be humanity’s direct ancestor – is now the subject of a special issue of the Journal of Human Evolution. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-human-evolution/special-issue/10RNQWWLTMV)..

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