Comparison of the anatomy of three lower mandibles belonging to modern man (left), early man (centre) and a chimpanzee (right). The central mandible belongs to Australopithecus afarensis who dates from 2.6 to 3.3 million years ago and represents the oldest ancestor of modern man. The dental arc of A.afarensis is of an intermediate shape between the parabola of modern man at left and the U-shape of the chimpanzee at right.
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