Photo: Kenyan Fossils May Add New Branch to Human Family Tree



This well-preserved skull fragment—one of two newly found fossils that may help rewrite the story of human evolution—is believed to belong to the human ancestor species Homo erectus.

When viewed from above, the fossil—the smallest H. erectus skull ever found—is dwarfed by a similar skull discovered in Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge (inset).

The size difference suggests that H. erectus was more primitive than previously believed, with a social structure more similar to gorillas than modern humans.

Photograph by F. Spoor ©2007 National Geographic/National Museums of Kenya; inset photograph by F. Spoor and J. Reader ©2007 National Geographic/National Museums of Kenya


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