Meave leakey fossil million years dating
If the 62000 skull showed that 1470 was not a single odd individual, the other two specimens seemed to provide a vital piece of evidence that had been missing. The new finds included an almost complete lower jaw (60000) — considered to be the most complete mandible of an early Homo yet found — and a part of another lower jaw (62000).The fossils were collected between 20 by a team led by Meave and Louise Leakey, the mother-and-daughter paleoanthropologists of the Koobi Fora Research Project and members of the famous African fossil-hunting family. Meave Leakey is the wife of Richard Leakey, a son of Louis and Mary Leakey, who produced the early evidence supporting Africa’s central place in early human origins. Leakey divides his time between Stony Brook University on Long Island, where he is a professor of anthropology, and the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya.“We are more certain that 1470 was not a one-off, and not everything 1470 is big.” In their first formal report, Dr.Leakey and her colleagues wrote in the journal Nature, “These three specimens will greatly aid the reassessment of the systematics and early radiation of the genus Homo.” They, however, chose not to assign the fossils to any existing or new species until more analysis is conducted on contemporary hominids.Uncovered from sandstone at Koobi Fora, badlands near Lake Turkana in Kenya, the specimens included a well-preserved skull of a late juvenile with a relatively large braincase and a long, flat face, which has been designated KNM-ER 62000 (62000 for short).It bears a striking resemblance to the enigmatic cranium known as 1470, the center of debate over multiple lineages since its discovery in the same area in 1972."I don't have any scientific grounds to say that this is directly anecestral.It certainly is a branch of the human family tree," says Leakey in the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles Times admits: "Only about 30 fragments of skull and jaw were found, but no long bones or ribs.Tattersall continued, “And it supports the view that the early history of Homo involved vigorous experimentation with the biological and behavioral potential of the new genus, instead of a slow process of refinement in a central lineage.” Bernard Wood of George Washington University, who has studied the early Homo fossil record, wrote in a companion article in Nature, “In a nutshell, the anatomy of the specimens supports the hypothesis of multiple early Homo species.” Dr.Wood then weighed the pros and cons of placing the new fossils with the species H.Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum of London, who had no part in the research, agreed that it looked as if the new discoveries “confirm the distinctiveness of 1470” and “therefore confirm the existence of a distinctive kind of early human around 1.8 to 2.0 million years ago.” But he noted that “there remain many uncertainties” about the 1470 fossil “and whether it might still be just a large specimen of Homo habilis.” Another problem, Dr.Stringer said, is that in the last three decades, as the number of fossils attributed to habilis has grown, it has become unclear how to define what is and is not a member of that Homo species.