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The discovery of Australopithecus sediba, a new intermediate between ape-like and human-like hominids, was made in one of the world’s most well-studied fossil sites: South Africa’s “Cradle of Humankind.” Lee Berger, a palaeontologist, used Google Earth to map caves with known fossil remains and identify new ones. When he and geologist Paul Dirks visited one they came across the unusually complete remains of an adult female and a juvenile male hominid. Some 1.78-1.95m years old, they had long ape-like arms but more advanced pelvises for striding and perhaps running, like our large-brained ancestors Homo habilis and Homo erectus.

The…

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