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200,000 year old human hair found in dung

May 11, 2009

Palaeontologists found 40 strands of fossilised hair inside samples of coprolite, or fossilised dung, from a cave in South Africa that was used by brown hyaenas.

Until now the oldest samples of human hair were from a 9,000 year old mummy found in northern Chile. It is extremely rare for soft tissue such as hair, skin and muscle to survive more than a few hundred years and only hard tissue like bone is fossilised normally.

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