Three Human-Like Species Lived Side-by-Side in Ancient Africa

The findings underline a growing understanding that the present-day situation, where one human species dominates the globe, may be unusual compared with the evolutionary past. The new evidence comes from efforts to date bones uncovered at a cave complex near Johannesburg. The research has been published in the journal Science. The new work also revealed the earliest known example of Homo erectus, a species thought to be a direct ancestor of modern humans (Homo sapiens). The three groups of hominins (human-like creatures) belonged to Australopithecus (the group made famous by the “Lucy” fossil from Ethiopia), Paranthropus, and Homo — better known as humans.

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