harvestheart: Artist John Gurche used the latest forensic techniques, fossil discoveries, and 20 years of experience to create the lifelike reconstructions of early humans on display in the Hall of Human Origins. The painstaking process required a detailed knowledge of human and ape anatomy. It took Gurche 2½ years to complete these busts.
"Sahelanthropus tchadensis is one of the oldest known species in the human family tree...sometime between 7 and 6 million years ago in West-Central Africa (Chad). Apelike features included a small brain, sloping face, very prominent brow ridges, and elongated skull. Humanlike features included small canine teeth, a short middle part of the face, and a spinal cord opening underneath the skull instead of towards the back..."
Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. The most famous fossil is the partial skeleton named Lucy (3.2 million years old) found by Donald Johanson and colleagues.