3.3 million-year-old fossil shows that ancient toddlers climbed trees

The foot is one part of a partial skeleton of a 3.32 million-year-old skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis child dubbed Selam.

More than 3 million years after she died, the fossil of a tiny female toddler is providing a unique look at how the children of our early human ancestors lived.

Her nickname is Selam, which means “peace” in the Ethiopian Amharic language. Selam was a hominin, an early human ancestor called Australopithecus afarensis. When she died, she was almost 3 years old.
Her nearly complete skeleton was discovered in the Dikika region of Ethiopia in 2002 by Zeresenay Alemseged, paleontologist and professor of organismal biology and anatomy and the University of Chicago. But freeing Selam from the ground took years. She was encased in sediment that was millions of years old, and researchers had to be extremely careful.
One of the more recent elements of her skeleton to be studied is her foot, which is detailed in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

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