Skip to comments.Amazing hominid haul in Ethiopia
Posted on 01/19/2005 2:22:02 PM PST by aculeus
Fossil hunters working in Ethiopia have unearthed the remains of at least nine primitive hominids that are between 4.5 million and 4.3 million years old.
The fossils, which were uncovered at As Duma in the north of the country, are mostly teeth and jaw fragments, but also include parts of hands and feet.
All finds belong to the same species - Ardipithecus ramidus - which was first described about a decade ago.
Details of the discoveries appear in the latest issue of Nature magazine.
Scientists say features of a phalanx, or foot bone, unearthed at the site show the hominid it belonged to probably walked upright like a human.
"It is a very important finding because it does confirm hominids walked upright on two feet definitely 4.5 million years ago," said lead author Sileshi Semaw, of the Craft Stone Age Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, US.
A. ramidus is also marked out by its diamond-shaped upper canine teeth, which are more humanlike than the "v" shaped upper canines of chimpanzees. But overall, the creature probably looked more like a chimpanzee than a human.
The age of the remains was estimated by dating volcanic material found in their vicinity.
"A few windows are now opening in Africa to glance into the fossil evidence on the earliest hominids," Dr Semaw explained.
"We now have more than 30 fossils from at least nine individuals dated between 4.3 and 4.5 million years old."
Another Ardipithecus species, A. kadabba , lived in Ethiopia around between 5.54 and 5.77 million years ago.
Genetic studies have suggested a common ancestor for modern apes and humans may have existed about six million years ago.
Ardipithecus may therefore represent an early step on the path which led to modern humans, as well as a number of other extinct hominid species.
Other fossils found at the site show that A. ramidus lived alongside monkeys, mole rats and cow-like grazing animals.
But the authors add that it's not clear exactly what sort of habitat the hominids lived in.
The area where the remains were unearthed would have had features of swamps, springs and streams, as well as regions that experienced seasonal droughts.
The first A. ramidus fossil was discovered in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopia in 1994 by palaeoanthropologists Tim White, Gen Suwa and Berhane Asfaw.
Published: 2005/01/19 21:03:45 GMT
© BBC MMV
It's Bush's fault!
Just ask Jane Goodall about the first time she saw a chimpanzee 1st degree murder.
A. ramidus. Registered to vote in Chicago's sixth precinct.
Jast an add-on, the bigger the brain, the bigger the scheming.
LOL. And Wisconsin. And Washington State.
And with an IQ of 25, truly the ideal democrat voter.
"... at least nine primitive hominids that are between 4.5 million and 4.3 million years old."
Anna Nicole Smith just hopped on a plane to Ethiopia to give them a lap dance.
IT'S A TRAP!!!
No seriously, cool! Now will the creationist please lay off the evolution doesn't exist stuff? Please?
There are lots of dead voying in Chicago, often several times each.
This is a hugh problem, and we should get series about fixing it.
I think they meant 4.3 thousand years since the Earth is only 6000 years old and all the dino bones have been place in chronological order in the strata by God to fool us into thinking that there was no Noah flood.
I mean, you can just look at the rain they just had in California and know that there must have been a flood.
Wait, I lost my aluminum hat that protects me from Alien nuclitodonic ray guns.
LOL. "A. ramidus. Registered to vote in Chicago's sixth precinct."
As opposed to the fossils in Senate
Homo Erectus-Drink-like-a-Picses Kennedy
Homo Romanus-babbler Byrd
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
No one brought it up except you. I'llmake just one comment and then I'll shut up. Just because they find some teeth and bones does not prove evolution. That is, there is nothing to link these teeth and bones to modern man. An extinct species of ape (or hominid) does not prove that one species follows another.
Did I miss something? If we take a sample coming out of Mt. Saint Helens it would give a recent date? (I realize that carbon-14 doesn't work on recent aging but help me put this into perspective. Do they know the date of the volcanic explosion and are cross referencing it or are they telling us that volcanic ash give the same date as the hominid fossils?
Wow, his molar looks worse than mine do!
Nice link, thank you.
Do they mean 'phallange'? A 'phallanx' is a military formation of pike-carrying infantrymen. Hehe! You gotta love 'science' writers. They get it 'right' about as much as 'pentagon' reporters.
Good news ping!
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