Australopithecus sediba in National Geographic

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National Geographic has posted text from Josh Fischman’s August article about Australopithecus sediba: “Malapa fossils”.

This raises the possibility, says Berger, that all the homininsat least four are now known from the sitedied weeks or even days apart, and therefore may have known each other in life. The rapid burial also caused their flesh to take longer to decompose, packaging the skeletons in death as they were arranged in life, right down to tiny bones of the hands and feet. Indeed, the rapid entombment may have preserved some of the skin itself, on top of the boy's skull and on the woman's jaw near the chinsomething never before seen in a hominin fossil.

It’s pretty cool to be here with the fossils and the people involved in the story right now. The story nicely features many members of the extensive team involved in the preparation and analysis – a process that has unfolded so far in less than three years from the discovery of the site.

The article emphasizes what may be the central scientific problem posed by A. sediba: what it means for early Homo. As I wrote last month, the origin of Homo is by far the most interesting problem in human evolution right now.