Your financial professional can tell you more about Pacific Life: the power to help you succeed. We're discovering how many different human species lived on Earth at the same time and why all but one died out. Scientists are scouring the most remote parts of Africa for clues.
The skull was embedded in sandstone, but as Zeray turned it over he could see more bones inside.
And keep doubling, six more times, taking us back 1.3 million years, when the first creature who really looked like us hunted on the plains of Africa. His challenge is to release her from the tomb of sandstone in which her bones are encased. She's from a species considered by most scientists to be an ancient ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis: a small, chimp-like creature who walked on two legs.
And then keep traveling back another two million years, and only then do we arrive in the time when Selam lived in Ethiopia nearly three and a half million years ago. This is the same species as the famous Lucy, discovered in the 1970s by Don Johanson.
Fossils not only give us clues to what early hominids looked like, but, with the aid of ingenious new lab techniques, how they lived and how we became the creative, thinking humans of today. Part 1, "First Steps," examines the factors that caused us to split from the other great apes. More than 6,000,000 years ago we took that first step to separate from the apes.
The program explores the fossil of "Selam," also known as "Lucy's Child." Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged spent five years carefully excavating the sandstone-embedded fossil. And we now know that for millions of years, many different human-like species lived together on the planet, until one day there was only us: Homo sapiens, the most complex, adaptable animal on Earth. A radical new theory reveals how episodes of cataclysmic change forced our ancestors to adapt or die.
He's been at it for eight long years, but the payoff has been amazing.