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Early hominins couldn’t have heard modern speech

Early hominins couldn’t have heard modern speech

New Scientist

Image: Menage a Moi

Our australopith ancestors heard their world differently from modern humans.

Rolf Quam at Binghamton University in New York State and colleagues have discovered rare middle ear bones from two extinct southern African hominins – Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus.

A combination of ape-like and human-like features in the bones indicate some australopiths lacked sensitivity to the midrange frequencies that modern humans use for speech.

“Anthropologists are in general agreement that these early hominins likely did not possess spoken language,” says Quam – the new findings back that claim. Read more on newscientist.com…