Ancient human ancestor find in South Africa deepens evolution mystery

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About twice a week, Marina Elliott takes a trip back in time. On those days, the Canadian anthropologist is out of bed by 5 a.m. and on the road by 6, driving to the Rising Star cave complex about an hour northwest of Johannesburg.

It’s winter in South Africa and temperatures have lately been hovering around the freezing point when Dr. Elliott and her support team gather at dawn. But as they head underground, the air is a constant 18 degrees C and humid.

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