Implications of the Sahelanthropus Tchadensis (Toumai) Discovery Essay

Implications of the Sahelanthropus Tchadensis (Toumai) Discovery Essay

Length: 1001 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Implications of the Sahelanthropus Tchadensis (Toumai) Discovery

Compared to the complete history of life on earth, human history is relatively brief. The earth is billions of years old and living organisms probably appeared some two to four billion years ago. Many different kinds of animals have been inhabiting the earth for hundreds of millions of years. Early hominids which are human like creatures are thought to have originated just 5 million years ago and modern humans around 100,000 years ago. There have been a recent discovery that is now challenging the appearance of the early hominids.

In the country of Chad which is located in central Africa scientists have recently made a discovery of a hominid skull. This skull was dated back to between 6 and 7 million years ago. The discovery was led by anthropologist Michel Brunet from the University of Poitiers in France. The find was named Sahelanthropus tchadensis and is nicknamed “Toumai” which means “hope of life” in an African language. The fossil find is an almost complete skull, some teeth, and a few fragments of the lower jaw. (Bower 2002)

This fossil find is completely surprising and amazing. The remains that were found represent the earliest known member in the line of human evolution. This find could be the beginning of many which could completely change our current ideas of human evolution. This pushes back the dates of human history by 2 million years. If Toumai is truly a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees this makes the molecular clock theory wrong. The molecular clock dates the divergence of humans and chimpanzees somewhere around 5 million years ago while the Toumai discovery suggests that is was 6 to 7 million years ago. (Bower 2002)


... middle of paper ...

...of the same kind. This is only one very small link in the massive chain of human origin. Scientists need to continue to search the globe and make more new discoveries to further challenge the norm and uncover the truth of our history.


Bower, Bruce. Evolutions surprise: fossil find uproots our early ancestors. Science News 13 July 2002; vol. 162, No. 2, P. 19. 4 April 2004

Brunet, Michel. A new hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa. Nature 418, 145-151. 11 July 2002. 4 April 2002

Paoli, Laurence. Toumai: Shaking our conceptions on the earliest steps of Hominid history. Science In Africa August 2002. 5 April 2004

Whitfield, John. Oldest member of the human family found. Nature News Service/Macmillan Magazines 11 July 2002. 4 April 2004

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Discovery of the Sahelanthropus Tchadensis Fossil: Earliest Hominid Essay

- Discovery of the Sahelanthropus Tchadensis Fossil: Earliest Hominid In July of 2001, a group of archeologists discovered the skull and jaw bone of the oldest member of the human family. The skull is a new discovery and was found in the Djurab Desert of Northern Chad by a group of archeologists lead by Michel Brunet, and is thought to be six to seven million years old (Walton). The age of the skull and jaw bone were approximated through the association of the fauna that were found with the fossils (Brunet)....   [tags: Anthropology Essays Paleontology Papers]

Free Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

Discoveries of the (Dinosaur) Incisivosaurus Gauthier, and (Hominid) Sahelanthropus Tchadensis

- Discoveries of the (Dinosaur) Incisivosaurus Gauthier, and (Hominid) Sahelanthropus Tchadensis In the year 2002 a bizarre looking theropod dinosaur fossil was found in China (Xu). It challenges the way researchers have been thinking of theropods and other dinosaurs for a long time. In the Sahara desert, the oldest hominid skull in the world was found that same year. These are just two of many discoveries that have challenged the way we perceive the ancient world. Incisivosaurus Gauthier was what is believed to be a primitive Oviraptorosaurian that was recently discovered in China....   [tags: Anthropology Essays Paleontology Papers]

Free Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Implications of the Dinosaur Heart Discovery

- Implications of the Dinosaur Heart Discovery The article from Science News, “Telltale Dino Heart Hints at Warm Blood”, by Tina Hesman and the Journal article it was based on from Science, ”Cardiovascular Evidence for an Intermediate or Higher Metabolic Rate in an Ornithischian Dinosaur”, by Paul Fisher and others both offer a new perspective on the topic to be discussed, however there are some key differences between the two articles. How the two articles differ will be discussed later on in the paper....   [tags: Anthropology Essays Paleontology Papers]

Free Essays
1192 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Discovery of The New World

- I. Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451. He was inspired by merchants and mariners. As a teenager, he joined the crew of a merchant ship. In his twenties, he settled in Lisbon with his brother, making maps for a living. Later on, he married a woman whose father had connections with the captains on Henry the Navigator’s ship. The couple settled in Madeira as Columbus visited multiple trading posts on the west coast of Africa. During his sailing trips, Columbus read some books that stimulated his curiosity, such as Natural History, written by Pliny....   [tags: Christopher Columbus, Expeditions, Discovery]

Strong Essays
1449 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Brown: The Last Discovery Of America

- Brown: The Last Discovery of America completes Richard Rodriguez's three-volume work in which he explains and explores the ethnic and racial future of America. In this particular book, the author defines the color brown not as the representation of the Hispanic race but as the color of the future. Black, white, yellow, the author explains, are incorrect racial categories for it is not how nature works. Nature yearns for combination of all different colors, and brown is the final result. In the chapter "Hispanics," as seen through imagery, personification, and humor, Richard Rodriguez upsets the reader to show that racial categorization is unfit and that racial barriers are meant to be broken...   [tags: Rodriguez Last Discovery America]

Strong Essays
1393 words (4 pages)

The Discovery of Toumai – An Old Hominid Essay examples

- The Discovery of Toumai – An Old Hominid Introduction: The current idea of the evolution of humans is about to make a huge turnabout. The cranium, a jaw fragment, and several teeth of a hominid (a primitive human) were found in the Djurab Desert. The fossils are thought to be, amazingly, between 6 and 7 millions years old. The authorities in Chad have nicknamed the cranium “Toumai”, which means, “hope of life” in the Goran language (Walton). Where was it found. The fossils were found in the Djurab Desert in Northern Chad, Central Africa....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Discovery of Vesicle Transportation System

- ... Cells, specifically eukaryotic cells, consist of different sections called organelles where the various cell functions occur. “This compartmentalization vastly improves the efficiency of many cellular functions and prevents potentially dangerous molecules from roaming freely within the cell” (Zierath & Lendahl). This quote displays the advantages of specialization within division of the cell; however, due to this “compartmentalization” of the cell, a system is required to transport and exchange molecules between these different intracellular sections to support cell activities, which is where vesicles arise in significance....   [tags: cell, body, mechanics, disease, factory]

Strong Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Discovery of the Structure of DNA Essay

- Discovery of the Structure of DNA On the last day of February in 1953, according to James Watson, Francis Crick announced to the patrons of the Eagle Pub in Cambridge, “We have discovered the secret of life” (Watson 115, 1980). As Brian Hayes, the author of “The Invention of the Genetic Code” states, “If life ever had a secret, the double helix of DNA was surely it” (1). However, it was not the work of these two men alone that led to the discovery of the power the lies within the double helix, but rather the work of many scientists that was carefully picked apart and pieced together by the two who received the most fame for the work....   [tags: History Historical Science Biology Essays]

Strong Essays
2382 words (6.8 pages)

Discovery Essay

- Discoveries reveal things that we often would prefer to keep hidden. Discuss the concept of “Discovery” and the effects it has on those who are involved. You must refer to your set text and supplementary material which you have studied in relation to this topic. The topic discovery involves the reviling of past things that were previously unknown. These truths can range from physical objects to self-awareness, from new knowledge to hidden memory. However, discovery can be such a powerful thing that some things may be better left hidden....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Discovery Essay

- “If Christopher Columbus Returned to the ‘New World’ in the year 2000, what evidence of his discovery would he find?” Christopher Columbus set sail August 3, 1492 in search for a new route to the West Indies. Sailing west from the Canaries, his ship was tossed around by trade winds, which ultimately guided his fleet off course. Due to his new route, Columbus came across land, which we know today as America. When Columbus arrived to the New World, he thought he had reached his required destination, the West Indies....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)