Human ancestors may have been capable of using tools much earlier than previously thought.

人類祖先使用工具的能力可能遠比之前認定的還早。

Scientists said an analysis of fossil hand bones of the species Australopithecus africanus that lived in southern Africa about 3 million to 2 million years ago indicated this human forerunner could use its hands in ways very much like modern people.

科學家指出,一項針對300萬至200萬年前生活在南部非洲的非洲南方古猿手骨化石的分析顯示,此人類祖先使用手的方式可能非常類似現代人。

This species, known for its mix of ape-like and human-like characteristics, possessed the uniquely human ability to have a power-squeeze grip as needed to wield a hammer and a forceful precision grip as used to turn a key, the study showed.

這個以結合似猿與似人特色聞名的人種,具有人類為使用槌子而需要的緊握力,以及轉動鑰匙所需的精確有力的抓握等獨特能力。

"Forceful precision grips have been linked specifically to stone tool use and tool making, and so it is possible that Australopithecus africanus was using stone tools as well," said Tracy Kivell of Britain’s University of Kent, who helped lead the study published in the journal Science.

「有力的精確抓握特別與石器的使用及工具製作有關,因此非洲南方古猿可能也使用石器,」參與主持這份發表於《自然》期刊研究的英國肯特大學專家基維爾指出。

This species appeared roughly a half million years before the first evidence of stone tools. The traditional view of scientists is that a species called Homo habilis that appeared about 2.4 million years ago was the pioneer in stone tool use in the human lineage. (Reuters)

此人種比第一個石器跡證大約早了50萬年。科學家的傳統觀點是,240萬年前的巧人是人屬中使用石器的先驅。(路透)

新聞辭典

forerunner:名詞,先驅、前兆。例句:Swallows are the forerunners of spring.(燕子現身是春天來臨的前兆。)

wield:動詞,使用、掌握、控制。例句:It is still the rich nations which wield the power.(現在掌握大權的仍是富國。)

grip:名詞,緊抓、抓牢、控制、掌握。例句:You’d better get a grip on yourself.(你最好控制自己的情緒。)

 

宏浩翻譯 引用自 http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=851145&day=2015-01-28

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