New Research Pushes Back the Age of Ancient Hominin Fossils by a Million Years

The Sterkfontein caves of South Africa, a UNESCO world heritage site, are often referred to as the ‘cradle of humankind.’ A common attraction for scientists worldwide for decades, this location contains the richest deposits of the fossils of early hominin or Australopithecus. Recently, researchers have discovered that these fossils may actually be a million years older than previously estimated.

The New Discovery

Member Four is an ancient cave infill that contains the majority of Sterkfontein’s hominin fossils. The age of the fossils was previously tested and the result ranged from 2-3 million years ago. But, a new dating method was recently developed by scientists, and a new study in PNAS has revealed that the hominins that lived at the Sterkfontein cave date back to nearly a million years before the appearance of Paranthropus and Homo. This finding indicates that all these fossils are even older than “Lucy,” the most famous Australopithecus in the world. The director of research at the caves, Professor Dominic Stratford, confirmed that this new dating research has pushed back the age of some of the most interesting hominins fossils like the iconic “Mrs. Ples” from South Africa, by a million years.

The Recent Research

Professor Darryl Granger, a geologist from Purdue University and the lead author of the research paper, had previously developed a scientific method for dating buried sediments in a cave. He also helped determine the age of “Little Foot” to be 3.7 million years old. “Little Foot” is a nearly complete Australopithecus sample, making it incredibly rare. Granger, along with a team of scientists, has recently analyzed the rest of the hominin specimens from the cave sediments. The group now has dated the fossils to 3.4-3.7 million years old, instead of the previous calculation of 2-2.5 million years. This discovery indicates that the source of these specimens is actually the beginning of the Australopithecus era.

3 Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac

Apple is a company that constantly evolves for its artists and creative minds. Aiming at creative professionals, Apple comes up with a range of photo and video editing tools with an industry-leading technology package. With a free version or trial, these efficient video editing apps can satisfy even any seasoned pro. Here are a few video editing tools for Mac to check out.

Final Cut Pro

This one is probably the most commonly heard video editing suite for Mac. It’s a quite easy-to-pick-up editing tool for beginners and pros alike. As a natural progression in the Apple technology system, FCP comes with a grand 90-day trial period, before you opt for a full purchase. With a basic drag n drop space, there is a range of editing effects. The in-built powerful media organization tool comes with Auto-Analysis and Smart Collections. Additionally, the amazing video editing tool supports 360o panoramic contents and includes functionality even for the best VR headsets.


Lightworks is another powerful video editing tool for Mac, though it comes with a certain drawback. Being much more restrictive for free users, the free version of the editor makes it more like a meager trial version. The free version includes several comprehensive features like multi-cam editing, the usual multi-layered timeline approach, and a range of video effects. But unfortunately, it’s the exporting option, where it falls short. The free version of Lightworks allows only limited output rendering options up to 1080p to Vimeo and 720p to YouTube.

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is a powerful professional-scale video editor for Mac. The studio version of the editor costs almost $1,000, but the basic version comes completely free. It also includes the same ability of high-quality image processing, as the costlier version. The powerful video editor offers some of the best-in-line color correction capabilities, and even external hardware panel support for faster and easier editing. Once you get past the steep learning curve, you will have one of the most powerful video editing suits in the world, with a lot of free features.