Face of the oldest direct human ancestor revealed: Elusive ancient species that pre-dates Lucy and lived 4.2 million years ago is brought to life by archaeologists for the first time
An ancient human ancestor that lived more than four million years ago has been brought to life by scientists in stunning recreations.
It is the face of a species known as Australopithecus anamensis, an ancient animal even older than the famed Lucy - a descendent species known as A. afarensis.
The tiny skull was found almost entirely intact in Ethiopia in 2016 and proves the two related early hominids co-existed for at least 100,000 years.
Researchers uncovered the adult male skull in the river delta of a now-extinct lake and the researchers found A. anamensis had a small brain with a long, narrow skull.
However, it also reveals the species had prominent cheekbones that make the face look like more recent humans.
A. anamensis is the oldest known member of the genus Australopithecus. Our own genus, Homo, is widely thought to have evolved from this group.
MRD, the informal moniker given to the recently discovered skull, is being hailed as the next great 'celebrated icon of human evolution'.