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Lifelike reconstruction of extinct human relative to be displayed at U-M Museum of Natural History

Australopithecus sediba roamed Africa 2 million years ago

Australopithecus sediba, an extinct relative of humans roamed southern Africa 2 million years ago.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Australopithecus sediba, an extinct relative of humans that roamed southern Africa 2 million years ago, is settling into her home at the new University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.

The life-size, hyperrealistic sculptural reconstruction of A. sediba was installed in the museum's "Evolution: Life Through Time" gallery.

Museum visitors will get their first glimpse of the diminutive hominid when the relocated museum opens to the public Sunday, April 14, inside U-M's Biological Sciences Building.

The sculpture is believed to be the only full-body, fleshed A. sediba reconstruction in North America.

"When visitors come face to face with her, they'll be floored by how realistic it appears," said Michael Cherney, the museum's on-staff paleontologist. "They'll be walking through the evolution gallery, and all of a sudden they'll be staring into the eyes of something that's very human-like. It will be almost impossible to ignore."