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Georgian Skull Find

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Paradigm Shifter?
Photograph by Gouram Tsibakhashvili

The 1.75-million-year-old skull on the left—recently discovered in the republic of Georgia—is forcing scientists to rethink humanity’s first great migration. Most paleoanthropologists had long believed that the first humans to leave Africa looked something like Nariokotome boy (cast, right), an African Homo erectus specimen. The new Georgian skull looks far more primitive. It has a tiny braincase, a small nose, a thin browridge, and large canine teeth—features that give it the look of a more distant, chimplike human ancestor, Homo habilis.

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