Oldest human fossil unearthed in Ethiopia
Its different features have prompted scientists to describe the fossilized jaw as: ‘Homo species indeterminate’
Researchers believe a 2.8 million-year-old jawbone found in Ethiopia may be the oldest human fossil to date, implying that the modern species of human being dates back 400,000 more years than thought, news website Vocativ reported.
The fossil combines features found in two different human ancestors, the Homo habilis, which lived 2.5 million years ago and the Lucy, believed to have lived 3.2 million years ago.
The discovery, revealed in two research papers in Science magazine, was published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science a has been labelled the LD 350-1.
Its different features have prompted scientists to describe the fossilized jaw as: “Homo species indeterminate.”
While fossils as old as 2.8 million years are too old to date, scientists sampled the volcanic ash above and below the jawbone to determine the age of the volcanic eruption that led to the sample. The results yielded show that the ash was deposited between 2.5 and 2.8 million years ago.
Scientists also found prehistoric antelope, elephant and crocodile remains near the LD 350-1, which has given researchers an idea on the wildlife that may have surrounded our ancestors.