Old 20th September 2006, 23:26   #1
squakMix
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"Lucy's baby's" ancient skeleton is found

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5363328.stm

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'Lucy's baby' found in Ethiopia

The 3.3-million-year-old fossilised remains of a human-like child have been unearthed in Ethiopia's Dikika region.



The female Australopithecus afarensis bones are from the same species as an adult skeleton found in 1974 which was nicknamed "Lucy".

Scientists are thrilled with the find, reported in the journal Nature.

They believe the near-complete remains offer a remarkable opportunity to study growth and development in an important extinct human ancestor.

The juvenile Australopithecus afarensis remains vanishingly rare.



The juvenile specimen is wonderfully preserved
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Old 21st September 2006, 18:31   #2
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I'm curious, how do they know it's the same species?

If someone were to dig up a Chihuahua skull and a Great Dane skull, would scientists (having no knowledge of dogs) determine that they are the same species or different species?

Isn't the definition of species being reproductively isolated? How can you tell that from fossilized bones?
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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:18   #3
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You know, you can tell a male and a female human apart by looking at their pelvis bones.

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Old 22nd September 2006, 01:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by SSJ4 Gogitta
You know, you can tell a male and a female human apart by looking at their pelvis bones.
You'd know, you necrophiliac!
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Old 23rd September 2006, 23:59   #5
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I always was a little skeptical about "Lucy". "Lucy" wasn't as smart as a chimp (at least if we are considering brain size). I think what we have is possibly a human ancestor, but it is hardly conclusive. A couple of other hominid species are contemporary of "Lucy". Is all this tells us is that in the distant past there used to be a couple of different kinds of primates that walked on two feet. Drawing any other conclusion is purely speculation and very poor science.
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