Fossil and modern hand bones of A. afarensis

Fossil and modern hand bones of A. afarensis

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Credit: JOHN READER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Reconstruction (top) of a hominid fossil hand of Australopithecus afarensis using modern bone fragments where fossil bones were missing. The reconstruction shows that the size and structure of the two were similar. Despite continuing debate, it is now thought that A. afarensis is a single hominid species and a stem form which gave rise to all subsequently known hominids; the australopithecine group and the genus Homo which includes modern man. At bottom are fragments of the hand of A. afarensis. The fossil bones were found at the Hadar site in the Afar depression, Ethiopia. The dating of the Hadar material is though to be around 3.3 million years ago.

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Keywords: a. afarensis, afar site, anthropology, australopithecus afarensis, bones, comparison, fossil, fossil knee joint, fossil man, hadar site, hand, hominid, hominid fossil, hominids, hominin, modern and fossil, palaeoanthropology, palaeontology, paleoanthropology, paleontology, reconstruction

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