Probable human hair found in a fossil hyaena coprolite from Gladysvale cave, South Africa

Probable human hair found in a fossil hyaena coprolite from Gladysvale cave, South Africa.

Journal of Archaeological Science

Until now, the oldest known human hair was from a 9,000 year old South American mummy. Here we report fossil hairs of probable human origin that exceed that age by about 200,000 years. The hairs have been discovered in a brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea) coprolite from Gladysvale cave in South Africa. The coprolite is part of a hyaena latrine preserved in calcified cave sediment dated between 195,000 and 257,000 years ago. This find supports the hypothesis that hyaenas accumulated some of the early hominin remains found in cave sites, and provides a new source of information on Pleistocene mammals in the Sterkfontein Valley

Hyaenas will eat anything. If I ever get full access to the article I’ll post it, but that’s all for now.

One response to “Probable human hair found in a fossil hyaena coprolite from Gladysvale cave, South Africa

  1. Wow, I find pretty ironical that the destructor of that possible ancestor was also the preserver of his/her legacy.

    Wonder if aDNA can be extracted from that hair.

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