miércoles, 15 de febrero de 2017

Your face is probably more primitive than a Neanderthal's


The skull of a Homo antecessor (Credit: Richard Gray)

The face of a modern human is almost uniquely flat and extraordinarily expressive. But our remarkable faces may not be as "modern" as we think

...  The question is, when did humans start to look like we do today? New scientific techniques and discoveries are starting to provide answers. But they are also revealing that our distinctive facial features may be far older than many anthropologists originally believed.

"As the last surviving species of humans on the planet, it is tempting to assume our modern faces sit at the tip of our evolutionary branch," says Chris Stringer, an anthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London, as he joins me in the gallery.

"And for a long time, that has been what the fossils seemed to indicate," he continues. "Around 500,000 years ago, there was a fairly widespread form of Homo heidelbergensis that has a face somewhat intermediate between that of a modern human and Neanderthals. For a long time, I argued this was our common ancestor with Neanderthals." [...] BBC - Earth