Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus sediba from the Rising Star Expedition blog. Illustrations by by Andrew Howley
“Australopithecus africanus is the oldest hominid found in South Africa. The pillars that run from nose to canines is a particular hallmark. While there are more complete skulls, Darryl de Ruiter’s favorite is Sts-52, from the site of Sterkfontein, because of its complete upper and lower dentition.
Also found in this region of South Africa by Lee Berger, Australopithecus sediba is one of the most recent additions to the ever-bushier human family tree, and is made its debut with two remarkably complete skeletons. The skull is flatter and more square like ours, but the body has more primitive features in its shoulders and feet in particular. So far this skull, MH-1, is the only to be excavated, though the site of Malapa promises to hold more.”
“The Rising Star Expedition was rapidly assembled during October 2013 to recover ancient hominid fossils discovered deep in a South African cave.
With remains from multiple individuals already identified, the find could add significantly to our understanding of human evolution.
With the bones hidden 30 meters underground beyond obstacles including a dangerous squeeze only 18 cm wide, it was necessary to assemble a select team of capable researchers with excavation experience and the unlikely caving skills and particular size required to reach the inner chamber.
Directed by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand, and supported by cavers from the Speleological Exploration Club of South Africa, these researchers are now daily bringing up hominid fossils for experts on the surface to begin analyzing.”
Source: Know Your Hominid Skulls