Anthropologists have found the oldest skull of one our of earliest human ancestors. The 3.8-million-year-old fossil changes our understanding of human history.Now, researchers have discovered that an Australopithecus anamensis skull found in 2016 is 3.8 million years old, making it the oldest Australopithecus skull ever found.
The skull, named “MRD,” was discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia.
Its age indicates that Australopithecus anamensis co-existed with Australopithecus afararensis, a species that anthropologists thought lived later on.
Everything we know about the group of human ancestors called Australopiths comes from just a few dozen fossils.
But a skull discovered in Ethiopia is now changing anthropologists’ understanding of the group.
The skull, nicknamed “MRD,” was originally unearthed in 2016 in the Afar region in Ethiopia. By carbon-dating minerals in the rocks near where MRD was found, scientists determined the fossil to be roughly 3.8 million years old. That makes it the oldest Australopithecus skull ever found, edging out the previous record-holder by about 200,000 years.