Homo erectus was an old neighbour of Australopithecus in South Africa

Paleoanthropologists held the most accurate at the moment the Dating of recent finds of skulls from the cave complex Drimolen in South Africa. The age of the Australopithecines, humans and paranthropus from Drimolen was essentially the same: 1,95–2,04 million years. It turns out, the representatives of the three genera can coexist on the territory of South Africa. In addition, now it is less likely that Australopithecus sediba was an ancestor of the genus Homo. About it it is reported in Science.

Findings from karst caves in South Africa is difficult to accurately date the layers in which they are located, not always are in accordance with their age and the process of erosion can distort the picture. In East Africa the location of the remains are composed of other rocks, where the erosion does not play such a big role. In addition, South African discoveries of hominid are often fragmented, they belong to different genera and species. So to correlate age and position on the phylogenetic tree of fossil Australopithecus, humans and paranthropus in southern and Eastern Africa difficult.

A large team of researchers from several countries, led by employee of the Australian La Trobe University Andy Harris (Andy I. R. Herries) dated new finds from the complex of caves Drimolen and rocks that surrounded them. For this, they used the uranium-lead method (age is determined by how many of the uranium underwent fission and became the lead), by the method of electron spin resonance and of paleomagnetism (examines parameters of the Earth magnetic field recorded in rocks).

Fragments of skulls, which were given the names DNH DNH 134 and 152, attributed to the species Homo erectus (Homo erectus) and parantap massive (Paranthropus robustus) , respectively. Their owners were still alive shortly before the change of polarity of the geomagnetic field, which is known through research East Africa (Olduvai) sites. It happened around 1.95 million years ago. Age DNH DNH 134 and 152 have determined the 1.95–2.04 million years.

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