Friday, April 9, 2010

Possible New Hominid Species Discovered, Thanks To Google Earth

Posted by timothy on Friday April 09, @07:31AM
from the but-not-street-view dept.
mindbrane writes"The BBC is reporting on fossil finds 'uncovered in cave deposits near Malapa in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Johannesburg.' The fossils of a mature female and juvenile male have '...small teeth, projecting nose, very advanced pelvis, and long legs ...' suggesting more modern forms. 'And yet its very long arms and small brain case might echo the much older Australopithecine group to which Professor Berger and colleagues have assigned it.' Aside from the debate as to classification, the find is noteworthy in that its discovery came about 'thanks to the "virtual globe" software Google Earth, which allowed the group to map and visualise the most promising fossil grounds in the World Heritage Site.' Further, the find in a cave bears the hallmarks of chance that often plays so large a part in fossilisation. 'Their bones were laid down with the remains of other dead animals, including a sabre-toothed cat, antelope, mice and rabbits. The fact that none of the bodies appear to have been scavenged indicates that all died suddenly and were entombed rapidly.'"

No comments: