The preserved skin tissue, anthropologists believed, to be that of an early human species was found in an ancient cave near Johannesburg, in South Africa.
Human skin believed to belong to 2 million old fossils to have been found in the remains of six ancient skeletons.
The tissue, assumed to belong in the Australopithecus sediba species, may be the oldest sample of skin ever found and may reveal vital particulars about early human life.
The last meal of early human may have been found in the skeletal remains teeth, experts believed, which was discovered of a cave site in 2008 as that of a 4′ 2″ male skeleton remains.
Anthropologist at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Professor Lee Berger, who led the excavation, told Mail Online: “We found out this wasn’t just a normal type of rock that they were contained in – it was a rock that was preserving organic material. Plant remains are captured in it – seeds, things like that – even food particulates that are captured in the teeth, so we can see what they were eating. Maybe more remarkably, we think we’ve found fossil skin here too.”
When Matthew, the professor’s son, tripped on a fossilized bone in the Malapa Nature Reserve was what triggered the excavation. An almost complete skull, with shoulder bones, wrist bones, a hand and ankle bones were found and Professor Berger announced the discovery in 2010 to the world.
Australopithecus sediba, the name given to the fossils which Berger believes is a transitional species between early Australopithecus species and earlier Homo species.
Professor Berger together with his team is currently constructing a laboratory on top of the site so they can work continuously on the fossils while they are still on the ground to avoid unnecessary damage.
But as to the exact number of fossil he hopes to uncover, that remains to be seen.