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Perfectly Preserved 1.8 Million-Year-Old Skull 'could Re-Write History Of Human Evolution'

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/perfectly-preserved-18-millionyearold-skull-could-rewrite-history-of-human-evolution-8887039.html

Scientists have revealed one of the most dramatic discoveries in human origins with a perfectly preserved fossilised skull of an ape-like man who lived about 1.8 million years ago.

The discovery, along with the remains of four other individuals who lived at the same time, in the same place, has generated intense excitement among palaeontologists who believe the finds could re-write the early history of human evolution.

The skull and its lower jawbone were found at a palaeontology site near the medieval town of Dmansi in the foothills of the Caucuses in Georgia, which has become one of the most important centres for understanding human origins outside Africa.

A team of researchers has spent the past eight years studying the fossil skull, which was first excavated in 2005, and its jawbone, discovered in 2000 but only now re-united with its "owner".

The first scientific description of "skull 5", published in the journal Science, indicates that the adult male had a large, long face, heavy features, large jaw and teeth but an exceptionally small brain case, less than half of the size of a typical human today and not much bigger than a gorilla's brain.

8 years studying it? That appears to be taking your time a little!

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It is 2 million years old. Eight years doesn't seem that long - especially if they are public sector workers. It will take longer than that to decide planning on that new rail link.

I find the whole Homus tree to be fascinating.

Was Homo Erectus a different part of the tree or were we descended from them?

During my childhood the belief was that we were descended from them. The latest thinking is that Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus are different branches of the same tree - and that we basically wiped them out, probably after they had been hunting us and eating us for a very long time.

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http://www.independe...on-8887039.html

8 years studying it? That appears to be taking your time a little!

I think you can get too close to things, too "embedded" into a particular methodology.

I remember watching a documentary about - I think it was - the Turin shroud. It set out to prove or disprove that it was a fake by testing various methods of recreating same.

Within the first couple of minutes I turned to partner and said "pinhole camera".

Forty five minutes later this theory was proved workable.

Researchers had spent FORTY YEARS coming up with that theory.

I mean, ffs, I'm no genius. It's just bloody obvious.

Likewise, I recall the days our team of developers spent an entire day looking at a server to work out why it had completely failed.

It wasn't plugged in. It took a visitor to suggest that.

Not joking.

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These things are incridbly rare.*

Keep it to yourself and the grant and research money will flow your way.

Let anybody who wants to look at it and you have lost your exclusivity.

* So rare in fact that IMO any story of the development of mankind is at best an educated punt. The evidence is separated by millions of years and thousands of miles and therefore woefully insufficient to build a coherent story of development.

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Likewise, I recall the days our team of developers spent an entire day looking at a server to work out why it had completely failed.

It wasn't plugged in. It took a visitor to suggest that.

Not joking.

Obvioulsly as an "electrical" guy, I might have spotted that!

I always seem to get the job of deputy backup relief assistant sysadmin! :huh:

Is there a 1.8 million year skull in your server room? :blink:

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8 years studying it? That appears to be taking your time a little!

Remind us how many anthropology papers you have published?

New knowledge is hard to come by.

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