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What Our Ancestor's Fossils Does not Tell Us

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In this article “What our ancestor’s fossils does not tell us” by Chet Raymo discusses the skeleton that they can tell us many things but not everything about them. He discusses The Nariokotome Homo erectus Skeleton, edited by Alan Walker and Richard Leakey. It was a handsome, haunting poster described by the writer. Nari’s almost complete skeleton is posed against a black background. The bones glisten with a rich bronze patina. According to author skeleton looks remarkably modern. The proportions of the body are graceful, almost delicate. I need only to close my eyes and the fleshed-out boy steps forward, grinning good-naturedly, hand extended in greeting. I wanted to know more about Nari, about his life and his death. After all, how much is it possible to know about a boy who lived and died more than a million years ago in what is now East Africa, a surprising amount, it turns out.

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For one thing, Nari is the most complete early hominid (human ancestor) skeleton ever discovered. For another, his bones are among the most intensely studied fossils of all time. His technical designation was KNM-WT 15000, the acquisition number of his skeleton at the Kenya National Museum. But the author continues to call him Nari because that is how he came to know him during the weeks he stood in the corner of my room. A question raised how did Nari die? His skeleton shows no signs of violence. The only abnormal feature is a pocket of inflammatory gum’ disease related to the loss of a tooth not long before his death. Nari may have died from gum infection after the shedding of a milk tooth’ at death, his body either fell into a swamp or was washed into it by a minor flood. In the end, there are many questions raised by the author like did he speak? Did he fall in love? Did he grieve for a dead friend? Did he dream? The authors of The Nariokotome Homo erectus Skeleton struggle valiantly with these questions, most explicitly the first. They measure the bones in every possible way, comparing them with modern skeletons. They examine the shape and size of the braincase, looking for clues to those parts of the brain known to be crucial. ResponseIn this article “What our ancestor’s fossils does not tell us” by Chet Raymo discusses the skeleton and human fossils that they can tell us many things but not everything about them. He discusses The Nariokotome Homo erectus Skeleton, edited by Alan Walker and Richard Leakey.

This skeleton was of a young boy of age 13 find during its fossil studies. Many characteristics can be found about from human fossils about his place of living, the cause of death and many other factors but at the same time, there are some shortcomings also. Not all the information can be extracted from these skeletons/ fossils, these are the science limitations nowadays maybe in future we can do so. The description of Nari told by the author was remarkable it tell us how we have advanced ourselves that we can analyze and get information from our dead ancestors. How the author raises questions and put his thoughts on is quite remarkable and intuitive it’s like putting oneself onto another shoe and see life from another person perspective. By keenly study the structure of fossils one can really understand many things about the dead, but there will remain some questions unanswered.

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