Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ABOUT US
New Au. sediba fossils discovered in rock
by Staff Writers
Johannesburg, South Africa (SPX) Jul 16, 2012


This is the tooth of a hominid embedded in a rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of "Karabo", the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009. Credit: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

South African scientists will share the country's latest fossil discovery with the world using live virtual technology.

Scientists from the Wits Institute for Human Evolution based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg will announce the discovery of a large rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor on Friday, 13 July 2012. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of 'Karabo', the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009.

Professor Lee Berger, a Reader in Palaeoanthropology and the Public Understanding of Science at the Wits Institute for Human Evolution, will make the announcement at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China on Friday, 13 July 2012 at 09:00 South African standard time. Prof Berger is visiting China as part of a South African delegation promoting trade, business and tourism relations between the two competitive city regions, Gauteng and Shanghai.

New discovery
"We have discovered parts of a jaw and critical aspects of the body including what appear to be a complete femur (thigh bone), ribs, vertebrae and other important limb elements, some never before seen in such completeness in the human fossil record," says Berger.

"This discovery will almost certainly make Karabo the most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered. We are obviously quite excited as it appears that we now have some of the most critical and complete remains of the skeleton, albeit encased in solid rock. It's a big day for us as a team and for our field as a whole."

The remains are invisible to the casual observer and are entrenched in a large rock about one metre in diameter. It was discovered almost three years ago, but lay unnoticed in the Wits laboratories until early last month. Prof. Berger and his wife Jackie Smilg, a radiologist at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, who is conducting her PhD on the CT scanning of fossil material embedded in rock, scanned the large rock in a state of the art CT scanner.

A world first - Live Science!
In an unprecedented gesture of open access to science and public participation, the University of the Witwatersrand, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the South African national government announced that for the first time in history, the process of exploring and uncovering these fossil remains would be conducted live, captured on video, and conveyed to the world in real time. This will allow members of the public and the scientific community to share in the unfolding discovery in an unprecedented way.

A laboratory studio, designed in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, will be built at the Maropeng Visitor Centre in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. It will allow the public to view the preparation of this skeleton live if they visit Maropeng, or live on the internet.

"The public will be able to participate fully in Live Science and future discoveries as they occur in real time - an unprecedented moment in palaeoanthropology," explains Berger. "The laboratory studio will be also linked to laboratories at Wits University and the Malapa site."

National Geographic
"We are excited to have helped make this cutting-edge facility possible for the University of the Witwatersrand," says National Geographic Executive Vice President Terry Garcia. "We can't wait to watch palaeontology happening in real time."

Virtual outposts
Access to the laboratory studio will not be limited only to visitors to the Cradle of Humankind and the internet. "We intend to create virtual 'outposts' in major partner museums around the world," says Berger.

"These outposts will allow visitors to these partner museums the chance to interact with scientists in real time in a way we simply could not conceive of a few years ago. It is anticipated that the laboratory and virtual infrastructure will be built within a year, expanding our ambitious tourism and smart province infrastructure programme."

Berger adds that negotiations have begun with the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom and the Smithsonian in Washington.

"We have already donated casts of Australopithecus sediba to these three institutions, amongst others," says Berger. "It has also just been confirmed that one of the virtual outposts will be hosted in the new Shanghai Natural History Museum due to open later this year."

.


Related Links
University of the Witwatersrand
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ABOUT US
The Clovis First Theory is put to rest at Paisley Caves
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Jul 16, 2012
Who were the first humans to enter the North American continent? Were they humans who founded what is known as the Clovis culture over 13,000 years ago? Or did other, totally unrelated peoples precede the Clovis immigrants? This issue has been intensely, if not bitterly debated for decades. The Clovis culture has been seen as the cradle of North American indigenous culture. Now new interna ... read more


ABOUT US
A 'Phoenix' rises from Haiti quake ashes

Japan govt, media colluded on nuclear: Nobel winner

Japan pushes ASEAN to lift export restrictions

Report faults Fukushima response

ABOUT US
Satmex Awards Optimal Satcom a Multi-Year Contract to Provide Enterprise Capacity Management System

Lockheed Martin Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar Approved For International Export

Apple rejoins green tech program after spat

EDRS makes room for Hylas-3

ABOUT US
EU nations want sanctions against Iceland in mackerel war

Philippines rescues sea turtles from poachers' net

Clinton urges Mekong nations to avoid US dam mistakes

Work resumes at huge Amazon dam site

ABOUT US
5.5-mile-long landslide spotted in Alaska

Antarctica faces major threats in the 21st century, says Texas A and M researcher

Arctic warming linked to combination of reduced sea ice and global atmospheric warming

Argentina court upholds glacier protections against mining

ABOUT US
European grain prices rise on global drought

Tannins in sorghum and benefits focus of university, USDA study

Messy experiment cleans up physics mystery of cornstarch

From aflatoxin to sake

ABOUT US
Hurricane Fabio, in Pacific, 'likely' to weaken

Japan troops fly supplies to thousands cut off by floods

Japan troops fly supplies to thousands cut off by floods

Putin tours Russia flood scene, berates officials

ABOUT US
Hundreds flee Nigerian villages ahead of army raid: official

Annual Namibia seal cull to start amid protests

Up to Africans to decide on Mali intervention: Hollande

Liberia leader warns of new wars without arms deal

ABOUT US
New Au. sediba fossils discovered in rock

The Clovis First Theory is put to rest at Paisley Caves

Native American populations descend from three key migrations

Seabirds studied for clues to human aging




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement