The fossils date precisely from the time when biologists using genes to chart human evolution predicted that a genetic "Eve" lived somewhere in Africa and gave rise to all modern humans.
"We've lacked intermediate fossils between pre-humans and modern humans, between 100,000 and 300,000 years ago, and that's where the Herto fossils fit," said paleoanthropologist Tim White, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-leader of the team that excavated and analyzed the discovery site.
African fossils provide the best evidence for the evolutionary transition from .
There is, however, some difficulty in placing many of the transitional specimens into a particular species because they have a mixture of intermediate features which are especially apparent in the sizes and shapes of the forehead, brow ridge and face.
” Whether over coffee in my kitchen or on the hallowed ground of women’s small groups, I hear these murmurs constantly.
"Now, the fossil record meshes with the molecular evidence." "With these new crania," he added, "we can now see what our direct ancestors looked like." "This set of fossils is stupendous," said team member F.
Clark Howell, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of integrative biology and co-director with White of UC Berkeley's Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies.
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