It influences the voice box and is important to the debate about the origins of human speech.Selams hyoid is much more similar to that of modern apes than humans, suggesting that was not capable of language.
It had only, however, reached between 63 and 88 per cent of adult brain size, while chimps brains are more than 90 per cent grown at the age of three.
Its not until we come to intentional burials by Neanderthals and modern humans in the last 100,000 years that we otherwise find such well-preserved infant remains, because of their fragility." Bernard Wood of George Washington University in Washington, DC, said: "It is a veritable mine of information about a crucial stage in human evolutionary history." Selam was found in the Dikika region of northeastern Ethiopia on December 10, 2000, by Tilahun Gebreselassie, a member of Dr Zeresenays team.
It has since taken the scientists almost six years to extract her remains from the sandstone in which they were set, often using dental tools to remove rock grain by grain, to identify and date them, and to examine her anatomy.
(Lucy was so-named as the scientists who found her were listening to the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.) "Its a remarkable and rewarding discovery," Dr Johanson told .
"The completeness is extraordinary, and what is very gratifying for me is that the find was just 4km directly south from where Lucy was found all those years ago.