2018 was a banner year for discoveries about our species’s evolution and extinct relatives like the Neanderthals. Here are the biggest finds, sorted according to how they fit into our evolutionary story.
The Little Foot skeleton may be an unrecognised species
Little Foot is a near-complete skeleton of an Australopithecus, a kind of hominin that lived in Africa between 2 and 4 million years ago. Ronald Clarke of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa found the skeleton in Sterkfontein cave in the 1990s and has spent 20 years meticulously excavating it. The first detailed analyses finally came out in late November. Little Foot was an elderly female who seems to have sustained an arm injury in her youth. She ate an almost entirely vegetarian diet.