First Of Our Kind Analysis

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In the article First of Our Kind, Kate Wong explains why the fossils found by paleoanthropologist Lee Berger could challenge current notions about human evolution. Geologists dated the fossils to be 1.9 million-years-old which makes this species younger than Australopithecus africanus and contemporary with Homo habilis. This, along with the mix of Homo and Australopithecine traits, led Berger to the theorize that this species was a descendant of A. africanus because of its location, and ancestor to Homo ergaster because of the Homo traits. Berger 's theory would thereby toss A. afarensis and H. habilis into the junk drawer where hominid dead ends are kept. The fossils found north of Johannesburg, South Africa, are of a previously unknown species, classified as Australopithecus sediba, with a mix of traits belonging to Australopithecus and Homo. The pelvis of the two individuals found so far were similar to that of H. erectus indicating they were bipedal, however their long arms associate them with Australopithecus-like tree-dwellers. Other juxtaposed traits include; small brain with an expanded frontal region, a human-like ankle and a primitive heel, small hands and ape-like grasping capabilities. Had Berger not found the fossils joined together, he would have classified them as different species.…show more content…
Some disagree with the theory about A. sediba 's place in the homnin lineage. René Bobe of George Washington University argues that A. sediba does not fit in the current timeline, citing the discovery of two 3.5 million-year-old partial skulls with Homo-like teeth found in Lake Turkana. William Kimbel of Arizona State agrees, offering the 2.3 million-year-old teeth with human traits that he found in East Africa as proof that humans existed prior to A. Sediba. Berger counters their arguments by stating that future findings may show that A. sediba is older than 1.9 million years and he warns that A. sediba proves isolated fossils cannot be assigned to a

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