Ethiopian ‘apeman’ fossil described


Reconstruction of Ardi

From the BBC:

An ancient ape-like creature that may be a direct ancestor to our species has been described by researchers.

The assessment of the 4.4-million-year-old animal called Ardipithecus ramidus is reported in the journal Science.

Even if it is not on the direct line to us, it offers new insights into how we evolved from the common ancestor we share with chimps, the team says.

Fossils of A. ramidus were first found in Ethiopia in 1992, but it has taken 17 years to assess their significance.

The most important specimen is a partial skeleton of a female nicknamed “Ardi”.

The international team has recovered key bones, including the skull with teeth, arms, hands, pelvis, legs, and feet.

One of the lead researchers on the project, Professor Tim White from the University of California at Berkeley, said the investigation had been painstaking.

“It took us many, many years to clean the bones in the National Museum of Ethiopia and then set about to restore this skeleton to its original dimensions and form and then study it and compare it with all the other fossils that are known from Africa and elsewhere as well as with modern age,” he told the journal.

“This is not an ordinary fossil. It’s not a chimp. It’s not a human. It shows us what we used to be.”

Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk

See also here. And here. And here. And here.

Was “Ardi” not a human ancestor after all? New review raises doubts: here.

Ardi walked the walk 4.4 million years ago. The pelvis of Ardipithecus shows the hominid could both walk upright and climb trees. By Bruce Bower, 4:17pm, April 2, 2018.

A 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will likely become a new ocean eventually, researchers now confirm: here.

NABU (BirdLife in Germany), in cooperation with the Ethiopian Government and other partners, will run a special project to protect the last natural forests where the world famous ‘arabica’ coffee is produced. In the last 10 years, almost 43% of these forests have disappeared, as they have been transformed into arable land, causing a huge loss of biodiversity: here

A further step has been taken towards our understanding of natural selection. CNRS scientists working at the Institut de Biologie of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (CNRS, February) have shown that humans, and some of their primate cousins, have a common genetic footprint, i.e. a set of genes which natural selection has often tended to act upon during the past 200,000 years. This study has also been able to isolate a group of genes that distinguish us from our cousins the great apes. Its findings are published in PloS Genetics (26 February 2010 issue): here.

5 thoughts on “Ethiopian ‘apeman’ fossil described

  1. Pingback: Human ancestor discovery in Ethiopia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: 3.3-million-year-old stone tools discovery in Kenya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: ‘Apeman’ toddler foot discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Australopithecus anamensis discovery in Ethiopia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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