South African researchers on Wednesday unveiled the almost complete skeleton of the famous Australopithecus Little Foot in Johannesburg.
The 3.67 million years old Little Foot’s reconstruction should shed new light on the lives of these very distant ancestors,said British paleontologist Ron Clarke.
Little Foot was discovered in small pieces from 1994 by the British paleontologist Ron Clarke in a cave of Sterkfontein, near Johannesburg.
It took him over twenty years to carefully extract all the pieces and present the complete fossil with his colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand.
“It took us a lot of time because we chose to exhume the fossil in the cave itself,” Clarke told AFP on Wednesday. “The bones were extremely fragile,” he said, adding that he acted “like a surgeon”.
At 90%, Little Foot is today the most complete skeleton of a humanoid more than a million and half years old available to researchers.