NATIONAL NEWS: Meet Littlefoot, the most complete Australopithecus fossil ever found

It’s taken more than 20 years but finally, she’s here. Meet Littlefoot, an Australopithecus that lived 3.6 million years ago.

Hers is the most complete Australopithecus fossil ever found. Discovered by professor Ron Clarke in 1994, Littlefoot is even more intact than Lucy discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.

Clarke is from the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of Witwatersrand, where the fossil was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon.

Clarke first discovered bones of the foot of the hominid the late professor Phillip Tobias later named Littlefoot. Clarke later found a tibia and sent his two assistants Stephen Motsumi and Nkwane Molefi to go find more. Two days later, they had.

ALSO READ: LIVE FEED: Fossil discovery two years in the making

Littlefoot was found at the Sterkfontein Caves, west of Johannesburg.

This is the first time that a virtually complete skeleton of a pre-human ancestor has been excavated from a South African cave.

Littlefoot is the oldest Australopithecus skeleton ever found in Southern Africa. Excavation of the fossil lasted until 2012. From then, the team worked on its restoration.


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Tshego Mphahlele

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