Jaw fossil shows climate change shaped human evolution, researchers say

March 5, 2015 5:29 AM

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A broken and fossilized jawbone found poking from the sediment of an East African hill is rewriting a significant chapter of human evolution — and adding weight to the argument that a hot and parched climate guided the development of our ancestors.

In two papers published Wednesday in the journal Science, researchers described the discovery of a 2.8 million-year-old jawbone in Ethiopia’s Afar regional state. Studded with five intact teeth, the mandible reveals that our genus, Homo, appeared almost 500,000 years earlier than believed, after bra...

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