2019,  CRADLE OF HUMANKIND: Hominids. The second instalment of the palaeontology theme features the ‘Cradle of Humankind – hominids’.  Hominin species refer to any member of the family tree that split from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees and ultimately ended with the appearance of humans, while the term hominid is used to include humankind and the chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla and orangutan. These species are represented by the hundreds of thousands of fossils that have been discovered in virtually every province in South Africa, which are far more than the hominin fossils that have been discovered in the rest of the world put together. These fossils also represent more hominin species than those found in any other country in the world.

Thus Africa can be regarded as the birthplace of humankind and therefore everyone on earth can trace their ancestry back to Africa. Of all the countries in the world, no one can tell the story of human origins better than South Africa. The title ‘Cradle of Humankind’ is well deserved because more hominin species have been discovered in South Africa than any other country in the world.  Every coin in this series is a miniature ambassador that tells the story of the origin of humans and South Africa as the birthplace of humankind.

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