200,000 year old human hair found in dung


Very exciting. I always wanted to be this kind of scientist.

 
 

via Archaeology in Europe by David Beard on 5/11/09



Strands of hair from a human who lived 200,000 years ago have been found preserved inside fossilised hyena dung from South Africa.

Palaeontologists found 40 strands of fossilised hair inside samples of coprolite, or fossilised dung, from a cave in South Africa that was used by brown hyaenas.

Until now the oldest samples of human hair were from a 9,000 year old mummy found in northern Chile. It is extremely rare for soft tissue such as hair, skin and muscle to survive more than a few hundred years and only hard tissue like bone is fossilised normally.

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