(The yellow portion is a computer-generated mirror image of the other side to fill in missing material. The green portion is the computer-generated endocast, reconstructing the brain surface from the shape of the inside of the skull.) (Science, vol 333:1371)
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Malapa Fossil Site (South Africa)
Approximately 2 mya.
Particularly well preserved cranial material made possible a computer simulation of an endocast. Excavators argue that the brain so revealed is more Homo-like than other Australopithecus brains.
Bones of a long arm suggest arboreal locomotion but the hand dsiplays relatively short fingers. A long thumb, suggests a precision grip. A very small heel bone suggests relatively unimportant bipedalism.
Pelvis is less "flaring" than Au. africanus or afarensis
The find includes remains of what seem to be four individuals, and collectively they allow good reconstruction of several important body areas, including the hand, pelvis, foot, and skull.
The location and date of these specimens allow the hypothesis that they are a population derivative from Au. africanus.
Because of the grip and the brain morphology, the excavator is inclined to regard Au. sediba as a more likely ancestral species for modern Homo than Au. afarensis is. Other researchers suggest that the foot of this species seems to be moving toward a different adaptation to bipedalism from what is shared by Au. afarensis and later Homo forms.