NPR

3.3 Million-Year-Old Fossil Sheds Light On How The Spine Evolved

It's hard evidence that the type of spinal segmentation and numbering found in modern humans emerged 3.3 million years ago, the scientists say. The remarkable fossil was discovered in Ethiopia.
This is a vertebrae of the Selam skeleton. Source: Zeray Alemseged, University of Chicago

A remarkably complete fossil of a young child suggests that key elements of the human spinal structure were already in place in an ancient human relative 3.3 million years ago.

The child, about three years old, likely died suddenly and quickly drifted into a body of water, where she was covered in sediment that eventually hardened to sandstone, Zeray Alemseged of the University of Chicago tells The

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