Updated: Apr 18, 2019
By: Richard Kemeny
The prevailing theory is that hominids such as Homo Habilis, were the tool makers and their ability to create primitive tools is what led them to have bigger brains than their Australopithecus ancestors.
The new discovery of shattered bones and cracking damage to animal bones suggests one of two things:
The prevailing theory that Homo Habilis was the original tool maker is incorrect.
The emergence of Homo Habilis occurred much earlier than currently thought.
Additional research at the site will need to occur to determine which one of these theories is correct. It is possible that what has occured is that Australopithecus hunted smaller animals and when they came upon larger animals, they scavenged the carcass of the dead animal and took the bones (for the marrow, and the skulls for the brains). This possibility would still mean that the theory of tool use was not strictly a Homo trait. We do see some primitive tool use in Chimpanzees, this would lead one to believe that Australopithecus had the cranial capacity to manipulate simple tools in their environment, but not necessarily make tools.