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Fossil ear bone from Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca

Fossil ear bone from Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca

C042/0295

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Credit

JAVIER TRUEBA / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAVIER TRUEBA / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fossil ear bone from Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca. This stirrup bone is from the middle ear of a child. It weighs 3 milligrams and the scale bar is one centimetre long. This fossil dates from around 400,000 years ago, with identification of the Sima de los Huesos site fossils uncertain. They are variously thought to be from hominids such as Homo heidelbergensis or an archaic form of Homo neanderthalensis. The Atapuerca mountain range in Burgos, Spain, contains hominid fossils providing evidence for the presence and way of life of humanity over a period of nearly one million years. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.

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