In Groundbreaking Find, Three Kinds of Early Humans Unearthed Living Together in South Africa

Two million years ago, three different early humans—AustralopithecusParanthropus, and the earliest-known Homo erectus—appear to have lived at the same time in the same place, near the Drimolen Paleocave System. How much these different species interacted remains unknown. But their contemporaneous existence suggests our ancient relations were quite diverse during a key transitional period of African prehistory that saw the last days of Australopithecus and the dawn of H. erectus’s nearly two-million-year run.

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