Australopithecus sediba fossils now on MorphoSource

Lee Berger gave the luncheon plenary lecture at the meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists last Saturday, covering the recent discoveries from the Dinaledi Chamber and a broad historical overview of his exploration work.

MH1 skull

At the end of his lecture, he announced that the collection of hominin remains from Malapa are now available freely for download from the MorphoSource site. These remains include parts of two skeletons, designated MH1 and MH2, which belong to the species Australopithecus sediba. Sixty-eight specimens are currently on the site, including the MH1 skull and mandible, the pieces of the MH2 mandible, individual bones of the MH2 hand, and pelvic, vertebral, ribs, and long bones of both skeletons.

These are an incredible collection, and together with the surface scans of the Dinaledi hominin material, they provide a detailed comparison of the anatomy of two species across much of the skeleton.

Much credit belongs to Steven Churchill, who worked long to get these scans uploaded and released in conjunction with Lee’s announcement, as well as the many team members who carried out laser scanning of the material, particularly Scott Williams, Lauren Schroeder, Cody Prang, Ellie McNutt and Daniel Garcia-Martinez.