Paleontologists have discovered a 3.8 million-year-old skull in Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia that reveals the face of a male Australopithecus anamensis.
Identified mainly by its projecting cheekbones and canine-esque teeth, the newfound hominin cranium provides new information about our earliest human ancestors.
Previously, the 3.2m-year-old iconic hominin bones of Australopithecus Afarensis, best known as before Lucy, served as the missing link in explaining the human evolutionary tree.
The Australopithecus Anamensis and Australopithecus Afarensis lived together for at least 100,000 years.
The leading scientist of the study, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, describes the unearthed skull a “game changer in our understanding of human evolution.”
The precious discovery of the Australopithecine as reported via Nature now represents the face of our oldest direct ancestor.
However, when it comes to brains, it’s worth noting that humans evolved a unique and complex neocortex.
While the Neathanderals might have possessed bigger brains, it was the advancement of shared language and artistry that helped advance Homo Sapien’ cognitive and mental skills.
The superior cortex and hyper-connectedness of billions of neurons and synapses in the human brain also helped released humans from the prison of biology.