Yet another fossil discovery may push the origins of humankind back further than what was previously accepted. Paleoanthropologists have unearthed what may be the oldest-known fossil of a human-like hand. The fossilized left-hand pinky bone, excavated at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, has been dated to be at least 1.84 million years old.
This fossil also has the distinction of appearing more like the bone of a modern human, as opposed to those of finger bones belonging to other contemporary hominids found in previous excavations, such as Homo habilis and Paranthropus boisei. Homo habilis was about three feet tall, so this finger bone, which is the size of a modern human’s, suggests that it must have belonged to an individual closer to five feet or more.
The team, led by paleoanthropologist Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo of Complutense University in Madrid, theorizes that this is a novel species that lived alongside previously-discovered hominids, and would have been capable of making stone tools.