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More bones of early human ancestor found in rock in Johannesburg lab

July 13, 2012

Three years ago, archeologists excavated a large rock in South Africa that they now believe contains part of the most complete fossilized skeleton of man's ancient ancestor. The rock was moved to a laboratory at the University of Witwatersrand and underwent a CT scan in June that revealed evidence of intact human-like bones, according to The Associated Press.

The 2009 excavation turned up a few bones believed to belong to a juvenile Australopithecus sediba - a possible human ancestor or at least a close relative, the AFP reports. The fossilized remains of this ancient homosapien were named Karabo by the children of South Africa, the AP indicates. The name means "answer" in Tswana.

"This discovery will almost certainly make Karabo the most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered," said paleontologist Lee Berger, the leading scientist of this discovery.

Recently, a scientist noticed a tooth-like protrusion on the excavated rock and further exploration was done to determine more remains lay within. The CT scan revealed part of a jaw bone, a femur, ribs, vertebrae and other limb bones within the rock. The university plans to built a state-of-the-art lab in which the scientists will perform the extraction of the bones from the rock. The South African government plans to stream video of the excavation so people around the world can tune in. There will be three virtual outposts at other science museums around the world, where visitors will be able to remotely control the cameras and explore the lab as the work is done. They will also be able to ask questions of scientists via social media site Twitter.

Those who want to find out more about this discovery and discuss the findings can make calls to South Africa with phone cards to talk about the latest news.


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