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These are thought to belong to the same species as the remarkably complete 1.6-million-year-old skeleton named “Turkana Boy,” found at nearby Nariokotome.
The nature of the association between the two finds is not yet completely evident, as even partial hominin skeletons are almost vanishingly rare as researchers delve deeper into the past to a time before the introduction of burial practices.
Found near Kenya’s Lake Turkana in a layer of rock dating to approximately 3.3 mya, during the middle of the Pliocene Epoch (5.3 million to 2.6 million years ago), the first tools—primitive hammers, anvils, and cutting tools—predate the emergence of .
Cranial remains dating to slightly less than 2 mya have been discovered at Koobi Fora, Kenya.
The does not indicate with certainty if this species was at all terrestrial, although the fairly forward position of its foramen magnum (the hole through which the spinal cord exits the braincase) may suggest a habitually upright posture.
In contrast, Lucy’s skeleton is 40 percent complete and dates to about 3.2 mya.