Australian researchers say the discovery of a two-million-year-old skull in South Africa throws more light on human evolution.
The skull was a male Paranthropus robustus, a “cousin species” to Homo erectus – a species thought to be direct ancestors of modern humans.
The two species lived around the same time, but Paranthropus robustus died out earlier.
The research team described the find as exciting.”Most of the fossil record is just a single tooth here and there so to have something like this is very rare, very lucky,” Dr Angeline Leece said.
The researchers, from Melbourne’s La Trobe University, found the skull’s fragments in 2018 at the Drimolen archaeological site north of Johannesburg. It was uncovered just metres away from a spot where a similarly aged Homo erectus skull of a child was discovered in 2015.