Fossils in Africa By: Andrew Heppard Fossils in Africa By: Andrew Heppard
Why are fossils so important to the continent of Africa?
Why this topic is Important to me.
This topic is important to me because I want to be an archeologist someday and I think that the way scientists can find out how animals and people lived millions of years ago is really cool!
What I already know about fossils.
I already know that fossils are the remains of humans or animals that have been preserved over time.
Why Fossils are Important to Africa
Fossils tell us that the first human like creatures started out in Africa, 3 million years ago.
An old fossil named Lucy the earliest one found in the late 1970’s.
Why Fossils are important to Africa (Cont.)
She was a short female and was thought to be the missing link between humans and apes.
But in 2002, archeologists found an even older skull that they named Tumai.
What is a Hominid?
A Hominid is a modern or extinct two-footed primate. We are hominids!
Handy Man were hunters and gatherers.
They were smarter Lucy’s people, but still didn’t know how to make fire.
They made tools out of stone. They lived in the Stone Age.
They tried to carry burning twigs around for fire. If they went out, they would wait until they found more fire.
They knew how to make fire. They had to know how to cook and stay warm in the winter.
They were about the same size as humans today.
1 million years ago, they were the ones to populate the world. But how did they do it?
The Ice Age was here!!!
Scientists found a new skeleton which they named “Neanderthal Man,” after the valley it was found in.
Scientists thought they were big, mean, and dumb brutes. The skeleton had a bent back and looked different.
Neanderthal Man (Cont.)
But they made a mistake! It had a bent back because he was suffering from arthritis.
It turned out that they were tall and very smart and they lived in caves.
It’s still a wonder why they were one of the earliest ones to die out.
Cro-Magnon Man lived in Europe.
They lived and worked together to get food.
They used elaborate traps to catch animals.
They invented the bow and arrow and made cave drawings. Someone found these drawings while playing in Lascaux, France.
So as you can see, fossils do help us. They tell us about how we evolved to the human beings (or Homo Sapiens) that we are today. So fossils aren’t just important to Africa, but the world too!!
What was surprising to me.
Scientists found foot prints of an early hominid. The story behind it is two hominids were walking on wet ash from a volcano that was erupting. When it erupted a second time, the ash covered the footprints, preserving them.