There was a chief new discovery of fossil bones and teeth belonging to the earliest human ancestors ever discovered. The fossil bones predate the oldest formerly discovered human ancestor by more than a million years. The discovery was of fossil remains of a hominid that lived in present day Ethiopia between 5.2 and 9.8 million years ago. (Hominids include all species following the split as of the chimpanzees on the “human” side of the evolutionary tree.)
“Analyses of the hominid indicate that they belonged to a previously unidentified species, which anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and his colleagues are calling this species Ardipithecus Kadabba. Previous fossil finds from the identical genus has suggested that hominids called kadabba were instead a subspecies of the only other known Ardipithecus species, Ardipithecus ramidus”(Bower 2004). This new hominid is being addressed presently as Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba. “While Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba is not the sought-after link—the yet-undiscovered creature that lived at the cusp of the evolutionary division between man and chimp—Yohannes Haile-Selassie, also a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, said the hominid certainly is very close to the branching point.” (Rickman 2001)
The first fossils were found in 1997 and the latest fossils were discovered in 2001. “Researchers found the fossil remains of several of the ancient individuals along the foothills of the west margin of the southern Afar Rift, located in Ethiopia’s Middle Awash study area. The Middle awash is located about 140 miles north east of A...
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...kman, J. (2001).Earliest Hominid Discovery Not the Missing Link—But Close [online].Energy Science News. Available from: www.pnl.gov/energyscience.com [Accessed 30 March 2004].
Wilford, J. (2004).Another Branch of Early Human Ancestors Is Reported by Scientists. [Online], March. Available at: http://gateway.proquest.com [Accessed 28 March 2004].
References articles from Nature
“Geology and Paleontology of the Late Miocene Middle Awash Valley, Afar rift, Ethiopia,” Giday Woldegabriel, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Paul R. Renne, William K. Hart, Stanley H. Ambrose, Berhane Asfaw, Grant Heiken, and Tim White, Nature 412, 175-178 (12 July 2001) C. Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
“Late Miocene hominids from the Middle Awash Ethiopia,” Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Nature 412, 178-181 (12 July 2001) C. Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
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