Re: New finds at Sterkfontein?

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Sun, 30 Jul 1995 00:43:19 GMT (nrh) wrote:

>I just caught a TV news article over here in Britain. I only caught a
>bit of it, and most was a combination of pseudo-science and jingoism
>about missing links. From what I could gather, there have been some new
>finds at Sterkfontein of a africanus foot which is more apelike than
>previous specimens. Has anybody got any further details?

I read an article about it in a newspaper.
"Little Foot" as it is informally known consists of four footbones of A.
africanus:talus, os naviculare,os cuneiforme mediale and proximal part of os
metatarsale 1.
It is an archive-find.The fossil bones were already in depot in the
University of the Witwatersrand since 1980 amidst the remains of baboons.
They were not recognized as being hominid until Ronald Clarke saw them.
Coming originally from Sterkfontein member 2 the fossils are thought to be
3.5 myr old.
The talus looks rather modern and was suited for upright walking.
On a photograph a reconstruction of the foot looks rather ape-like with an
abducted big toe.