South Africa: Fossil discovered recently forms part of hominid child's skull

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 04, 2021, 11:23 PM(IST)

Skull Photograph:( Twitter )

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It is very rare that researchers find fossilised remains of children. This is because their bones are too thin and fragile to survive over aeons

Scientists have recently discovered fossils in a South African cave that forms part of a hominid child's skull. The scientists said that it was left on an alcove by fellow members of her species 250,000 years ago.

Lee Berger, the scientist who led the project said, "The real mystery about this child is why she found where she was."

"Something amazing was going on in this cave 200,000-300,000 years ago."

The gender is not yet determined.

It is very rare that researchers find fossilised remains of children. This is because their bones are too thin and fragile to survive over aeons.

In this case, the child was probably four to six years old when it died, with baby teeth intact and adult teeth starting to emerge. 

The newly found remains, including 28 skull fragments and six teeth were found even deeper in the cave complex. This is 12 meters away from the main find.

Also read | Were Dinosaurs a social species? Newly discovered fossils suggests they lived in herds

Meanwhile, scientists discovered fossils on a vast fossil site in Patagonia, which suggests that some of the earliest dinosaurs lived in herds and that this behaviour may have been central to the dinosaurs' success. A significant part of the findings was based on the discovery of embryos of the same species inside fossilized eggs. These findings were reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

Scientists discovered a 190-million-year-old dinosaur nesting ground in the early 2000s, which also contained juvenile skeletons belonging to Mussaurus patagonicus, a primitive, herbivorous sauropodomorph dinosaur (forerunner of the large, long-necked dinosaurs) in Patagonia (Argentina). 

"Such a preserved site was bound to provide us with a lot of information about how early dinosaurs lived," explained Diego Pol, the palaeontologist at CONICET who discovered the site.

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