Scientists have discovered how the early human's hearing was. Early means 2 million years ago. Researcher Rolf Quam explains the findings in the video below.
New Research into 2 million year old human fossils reveals that the hearing pattern resembles chimpanzees, but with some slight differences in the direction of humans.
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Rolf Quam, assistant professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, led an international research team in reconstructing an aspect of sensory perception in several fossil hominin individuals from the sites of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans in South Africa.
The study relied on the use of CT scans and virtual computer reconstructions to study the internal anatomy of the ear. The results suggest that the early hominin species Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus, both of which lived around 2 million years ago, had hearing abilities similar to a chimpanzee, but with some slight differences in the direction of humans.
Humans are distinct from most other primates, including chimpanzees, in having better hearing across a wider range of frequencies, generally between 1.0-6.0 kHz.
Within this same frequency range, which encompasses many of the sounds emitted during spoken language, chimpanzees and most other primates lose sensitivity compared to humans.
“We know that the hearing patterns, or audiograms, in chimpanzees and humans are distinct because their hearing abilities have been measured in the laboratory in living subjects,” said Quam. “So we were interested in finding out when this human-like hearing pattern first emerged during our evolutionary history.”
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The study was published on Sept. 25 in the journal Science Advances.