Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Receives Donation of Important Human Origins Fossil Casts

Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger is donating casts of the Australopithecus sediba to the National Museum of Natural History. The casts of these skeletons—which include two complete copies for public display and two copies for the Human Origins Program’s research collection—are being donated as part of a research collaboration between the United States and South Africa. A separate box of unpublished fossil specimens will also be presented.

A. sediba was discovered in 2008 in the Malapa Cave at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site located outside Johannesburg. The specimens consist of an adolescent male, dubbed Karabo, and a mature female found relatively close to one another, and dated between 1.95 and 1.78 million years ago. It was announced as a new species of early human ancestor April 8, 2010. These first specimens represent the two most complete skeletons of early hominins ever discovered, and have been referred to as one of the most important discoveries in the search for human origins in Africa.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *