JOURNAL ARTICLE

Paleoanthropology. Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia

Brian Villmoare, William H Kimbel, Chalachew Seyoum, Christopher J Campisano, Erin N DiMaggio, John Rowan, David R Braun, J Ramón Arrowsmith, Kaye E Reed
Science 2015 March 20, 347 (6228): 1352-5
25739410
Our understanding of the origin of the genus Homo has been hampered by a limited fossil record in eastern Africa between 2.0 and 3.0 million years ago (Ma). Here we report the discovery of a partial hominin mandible with teeth from the Ledi-Geraru research area, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, that establishes the presence of Homo at 2.80 to 2.75 Ma. This specimen combines primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo, confirming that dentognathic departures from the australopith pattern occurred early in the Homo lineage. The Ledi-Geraru discovery has implications for hypotheses about the timing and place of origin of the genus Homo.

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