'First human' unearthed in Ethiopia

March 4, 2015 9:47 PM

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The team of U.S. researchers who discovered the jawbone, which boasts five teeth, says it is evidence of the first human from the Homo genus -- showcasing traits from the earlier, ape-like lineage Australopithecus afarensis, which existed 3.9 million to 2.9 million years ago, as well characteristics unique to the lineage that eventually produced Homo sapiens.

"By finding this jaw bone we've figured out where that trajectory started," Brian Villmoare, a researcher at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, told The Guardian. "This is the first Homo. It marks in all likelihood a major adaptive transition."

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