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Australopithecus enjoyed fruits of the forest

Discovered in 2008, Australopithecus sediba is an approximately two-million-year-old hominin fossil from South Africa, related to other Australopithecus and early Homo species. Using a combination of stable-isotope analysis, dental-microwear patterns and analysis of plant microfossils extracted from dental calculus from two fossilized individuals, it is shown here that A. sediba consumed a diet consisting mainly of tree leaves, fruits and bark, suggesting that they resided in a woodland environment. This contrasts with previously described diets of other early hominin species that suggested an open-savanna habitat.

Nature 487, 7405 table of contents

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