Middle school boy discovers new species of human ancestor!

Hominid skull
Okay, it’s not new–the fossil is estimated to be nearly 2 million years old, but 11-year-old Matthew Berger found it just two years ago.

From the New York Times:

Matthew held the ancient remains of a 4-foot-2 boy who had been just a few years older than Matthew himself. Dr. Berger, with the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and his fellow researchers have since found much more of the boy’s skeleton, including his extraordinarily well-preserved skull, and three other individuals. South Africa’s children will compete to name the boy.

In a report being published Friday in the journal Science, Dr. Berger, 44, and a team of scientists said the fossils from the boy and a woman were a surprising and distinctive mixture of primitive and advanced anatomy and thus qualified as a new species of hominid, the ancestors and other close relatives of humans. It has been named Australopithecus sediba.

Image source: NYTimes.com

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8 Responses to Middle school boy discovers new species of human ancestor!

  1. Thomas L. says:

    This is so cool! They should name the skeleton after Matthew himself, right? 🙂

  2. Nick K says:

    It is kind of ironic that a kid found a fossil of a kid, except the fossil of the kid that he found is over 2 million years old. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years I will find an ancient fossil and I’ll make the news.

  3. SAM s says:

    Wow thats really cool
    I had a camp counselor who said he found a shrunken head once. wutever mayb he was lying to me. the picture kinda looks like a shrunken head.

  4. Jack says:

    HI SAM!!
    This was really cool that they found this thingy. I think it was on 60 minutes (yeah thats right i watch sometimes) It is interesting that the fossil was still in great shape after 2 million years

    JaCK

  5. Johnny S. says:

    OMG that is crazy. A fossil that is still that intact and is over 2 million years old.

  6. Aidan says:

    Wow, its really interesting to me that Matthew is almost the same age as the skeleton itself.

  7. AvErY!! says:

    Ok…. This is ridiculous, a kid wanders upon a 2 million year old skull. I mean come one what are the odds of that. There are people who hunt for skulls their whole life and never find anything. This is SICK!!!

  8. Sam G says:

    I agree with avery. Emagin if you were one of those people who look for skulls. So Cool
    Sam G

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