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Famed Human Ancestor "Lucy" Wasn't Alone: Meet Little Foot

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posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 07:27 PM
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Lucy wasn't alone, ATS. Now scientists are touting the discovery of "Little Foot" a member of australopithecinewho lived around the same time as Lucy as a potential game changer for human genetics. That's because Little Foot may not have come from a lineage of Australopithecus afarensis; implying that several species of Australopithecus roamed Africa.



It remains debated what kind of australopithecine Little Foot was. Many scientists think Little Foot was a member of Australopithecus africanus, which had a rounder skull housing a larger brain and smaller teeth than did Lucy and the rest of Australopithecus afarensis. However, Clarke and others suggest Little Foot belonged to another australopithecine known as Australopithecus prometheus, which had a longer, flatter face and larger cheek teeth than Australopithecus africanus.
It was impossible to fit Little Foot into the human family tree with any certainty because "ever since its discovery, the age of Little Foot has been debated," said lead study author Darryl Granger, a geochronologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. If researchers can figure out when Little Foot arose, they might be able to better pinpoint which Australopithecus species and which part of Africa ultimately gave rise to Homo.
Now, Granger and his colleagues have found evidence that Little Foot lived at about the same time as Lucy. Even so, the fossil doesn't give a definitive answer on Little Foot's species.

"The most important implication from dating Little Foot is that we now know that australopithecines were in South Africa early in their evolution," Granger told Live Science. "This implies an evolutionary connection between South Africa and East Africa prior to the age of Little Foot, and with enough time for the australopithecine species to diverge."

This in turn suggests that other australopithecines — and, later, humans — "did not all have to have derived from Australopithecus afarensis," Clarke told Live Science. "There could well have been many species of Australopithecus extending over a much wider area of Africa."

This is interesting, ATS. this could possibly explain why we have so many varieties of people; ie-RACE. I know that the popular notion is that race is merely a variant of one's climate in which they live but what if there's more to it than just that? What if race is dependent upon which Australopithecus species you came from? I'm intrigued...What says ATS?

news.yahoo.com...




posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

Umm when was it ever implied "Lucy" was alone? Its been known for decades that there were a lot of hominids roaming about. Hell until about 12000 years ago we had another species of Homo lurking on some islands (viz Homo floresiensis).

So we scientists are not "touting" anything new neighbor

edit on 1-4-2015 by Noinden because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 07:36 PM
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While we are down here trying to understand our own history, the aliens are up there in the sky laughing.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 07:50 PM
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I think I may know where little foot lives.
About a half mile up the road.
I have a new nickname for my neighbor.
He is a small, hairy man. Nice guy with a sense of humor.
edit on 1-4-2015 by skunkape23 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

I really get the feeling the whole Lucy thing is askew.

Taking found fossils and presuming the whole ancestry story is ludicrous. There are older HE finds in Israel and perhaps much older elsewhere.

Perhaps the more new finds there are, the sooner the story can get back on track.
edit on 1-4-2015 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 08:09 PM
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Every time they find some sort of old Ape skull, it is Always some New version of a creature that turned into a Homo.

Never do they say, well we have this Old Ape skull that could evolve either, into some sort of Monkey/great ape, or modern Africans...another great Ape.

Im sorry, but these scientists are losing credibility.

Every old skull they find in Africa CAN NOT ALWAYS be some long lost ancestor of humans.....as there are many more other apes in Africa, the likelyhood is that they are related to other apes. Also there is no law to say Everything has to evolve to a higher state. Why cant an Australapithicus type creature Devolve?? for whatever reason.

This whole agenda is to keep pushing the Out of Africa theory....theory!!!.

As educated people have questioned 100s of times before......Apes/monkeys from Africa...fine.

Then please explain the Asian Orangutan, the giant Asian Gigantopithicus, and all the other Asian and American Monkeys.
These "experts" conveniently forget about them, AND their ancestors.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: gort51

Did you read the original post? Did you read the source? I strongly doubt that you did neighbor.

A couple of points for you, and forgive this "Scientist" and his lack of "credibility" for point these out.

(a) None of these finds are held up by anyone but the media as the ancestors of Homo sapiens, we can't prove that, the DNA is gone, and there are too many steps in between. However it is still worthy of noting their existence. What this post showed was that there were several species wandering around at similar times (we have no idea how close these times were, its too far in the past).
(b) There were no monkeys or apes in the modern sense back then. Rather ancestors of the modern monkeys, and Apes. Its a common mistake by the uninformed to assume (for example) that a few million years ago, Chimps were wandering around identical to todays ones. Chimps have evolved, just like hominids have.
(c) Why various simians in other parts of the world? Why various bird species? You don't find Orangutans in africa, or find Bonabo in sumatra. You did find Homo erectus (again) for example over a wide area. They walked there
Perhaps even swam there, or floated on some conveyance there. Similarly Homo neanderthalus is not seen in sub Saharan African DNA. Neanderthals would have bloody hated it in that heat (adaption adaption adaption)

Quite simply, if you do not understand something, it does not mean it is wrong.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: gort51




the likelyhood is that they are related to other apes.


Well, at least you got that correct.




posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: Noinden

Well said.

(a) The reason they classify "Australopithecine" is that they have established that these creatures were bipedal, and walked upright, apparently a trait of early Homos. Had they dragged their knuckles, I assume they would be classified as lesser Primates.

(b) Yes monkeys and apes are cousins, as we are, hence the reason for my post...they dont ALL automatically evolve into Humans.

(c) Yes Homo Erectus is THOUGHT???? to have spread from Africa...in Theory. There are still amazing things to find....that recent 900,000 year old (supposedly) jaw bone in Great Britain, certainly stirs up the juices.....so are white people 900,000 years old? and why not??? Who can determine absolutely?? Noone!! Do you honestly think Orangutans and Gigantopithicus's ancestors swam or walked 10,000s of miles? or that early Homo carried them on their backs? Perhaps they Devolved from greater Homos?

As you can see, things are not simply black and white (pun intended), as some seem to think.
And yes, we Neanderthals Still hate the bloody heat!!!!
.
edit on 1-4-2015 by gort51 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Pretty Drawing Grimpy....yes we are all apes and have a genetic relationship......as we do with reptiles and fish too!!!
.

Any other great fonts of knowledge you wish to convey?



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:17 PM
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originally posted by: Noinden
a reply to: lostbook

Umm when was it ever implied "Lucy" was alone? Its been known for decades that there were a lot of hominids roaming about. Hell until about 12000 years ago we had another species of Homo lurking on some islands (viz Homo floresiensis).

So we scientists are not "touting" anything new neighbor


I assumed by the way that Lucy was presented as modern day man's ancestor that she had to be alone. I didn't know for sure otherwise.

The new discovery of Little Foot some 20 yrs ago opens the door to another potential ancestor whom while the same species as Lucy, they may be a different breed.

I find it interesting cause it may better explain variation in modern humans.
edit on 1-4-2015 by lostbook because: Word add



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: lostbook
"Lucy" and her species have never been portrayed that way by scientists. Media? Well media screw up and distort science each and every day. But no we have no way of determining where "Lucy" Australopithecus afarensis falls in our family tree. to begin with she is a different genus (Australopithecus as opposed to Homo.

The point about the original post is we know and have known for decades that other hominids were walking around with overlapping time periods. As I said until around 12000 years ago there were other ones still. The little Homo floresiensis aka "hobbits", then up until 30000(ish) years ago Neanderthals and perhaps Denisovians were around too. Its not unusual.

So yes "new" hominid is exciting and interesting, but not earth shattering


Again we can't show where any of them were in relation to us on the family tree. There is no DNA to sequence and compare. Remember we are about 98% similar to Chimps too



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:52 PM
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originally posted by: Noinden
a reply to: lostbook
"Lucy" and her species have never been portrayed that way by scientists. Media? Well media screw up and distort science each and every day. But no we have no way of determining where "Lucy" Australopithecus afarensis falls in our family tree. to begin with she is a different genus (Australopithecus as opposed to Homo.

The point about the original post is we know and have known for decades that other hominids were walking around with overlapping time periods. As I said until around 12000 years ago there were other ones still. The little Homo floresiensis aka "hobbits", then up until 30000(ish) years ago Neanderthals and perhaps Denisovians were around too. Its not unusual.

So yes "new" hominid is exciting and interesting, but not earth shattering


Again we can't show where any of them were in relation to us on the family tree. There is no DNA to sequence and compare. Remember we are about 98% similar to Chimps too


Thanks for the info. It's all very interesting.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 10:45 PM
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Imagine if the only preserved specimen they find a million years from now are fragments of the elephant man.

They will create whole charts and hypotheses out of the discovery. Then they find a midget wrestler and have to redo their whole charts.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 10:53 PM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

Well for many decades we assumed Neanderthals were shambling, brutes. Due to the first skeleton found being an aged, arthritic elder. It is always very dangerous to leap to conclusions based off of single bits of evidence. It makes paleontology a bit hit and miss at times, as time goes by, they get more information, and refine it. To Joe and Jo-Anne public that seems to be a lot of going back and forth, but it really is scientific, and honest logic. Refine your ideas based off of evidence, NOT what you hope was true.

It is a huge shame that DNA is so fragile that we can't get older samples, because I'd kill to analyse some of the older ancestors (while I am mostly a Pharmaceutical Chemist/Consultant I am also into Genomics, and love to see the data).



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 10:54 PM
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originally posted by: lostbook

originally posted by: Noinden
a reply to: lostbook

Umm when was it ever implied "Lucy" was alone? Its been known for decades that there were a lot of hominids roaming about. Hell until about 12000 years ago we had another species of Homo lurking on some islands (viz Homo floresiensis).

So we scientists are not "touting" anything new neighbor


I assumed by the way that Lucy was presented as modern day man's ancestor that she had to be alone. I didn't know for sure otherwise.

The new discovery of Little Foot some 20 yrs ago opens the door to another potential ancestor whom while the same species as Lucy, they may be a different breed.

I find it interesting cause it may better explain variation in modern humans.


I've got to be honest, the whole thing is a little confusing. Especially the utilization of the taxonomic descriptor of Australopithecus Prometheus because that hasn't been used in probably 75 years. A. Prometheus was discovered by Dart in the 1920's and was originally a name associated with the Taung child and the rather famous(at least by anthropological standards) remains from the Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa. What used to be referred to as A. Prometheus is what we call today A. Africanus as Dart had initially proposed. Though from some of the articles I'm looking at it appears that they are proposing there is enough differentiation in the facial features to warrant A. Prometheus as a separate identifiable taxonomy from Africanus.

There are a total of 9 different Australopithecines currently known depending on whos taxonomy you're going by. They're typically separated into 2 classifications, gracile and robustus with the gracile, or to be more concise the more slender and smaller variety appearing around 4 million years ago and becoming a bit larger over the course of 1-2 million years until we see a definite differentiation between the smaller and the larger or more robust australopithecines beginning to emerge. By the time of A. Robustus/Paranthropus Robustus who lived from around 2MYA until just over 1-1.2 million years ago the Australopithecines were firmly on their way to being far less similar to a Chaimpanzee and more similar to early members of the genus Homo.

There are several periods of overlapping and coexisting australopithecines and a couple of periods where australopithecines coexist with early members of the genus Homo so the whole timeline is more of a zig zag than an actual timeline and the family tree is much more of a family bush and things can be a tad convoluted and confusing if you're trying to keep track but this picture gives a general idea of time frames-


The big deal with "Little Foot" is that they have used newer dating to ascertain it to be around 3 MYA as opposed to the original date of 2.2 +/- MYA and the completeness of the skeleton makes it the most complete and the oldest skeletal remains of that level of completeness. Still not as old as "Lucy" but more complete than she was.

As for the number of Australopithecines accounting for the variation in modern anatomical morphology... I wouldn't put a lot of money on that. IF the genus Homo is a direct descent from Australopithecines, and I use if very strongly because it isn't a guarantee, that descent is going to be limited to one of the later Robust members of the genus that became Homo Habilis. Again though, it's not an easy puzzle to put together as there are periods of overlapping coexistence with some Australopithecines and H. Habilis as well as H. Erectus. Erectus is definitely the immediate predecessor of Homo Heidelbergensis who is in turn the direct ancestor and common link to Neanderthal, Denisovan and Homo Sapiens Sapiens and quite likely Floresiensis if they turn out to in fact be a separate species from us.

As pointed out by Noinden, a lot of this confusion is the result of media interpretations and promotions. The one definite important factor relating to Australopithecines is that as far back as 3.6 MYA, they were clearly walking upright with a foot similar to ours as evidenced by the Laetoli footprints laid down in fresh volcanic ash. This makes the dating quite easy and accurate as well as gives us a very clear and distinct picture of their foot impression which in turn gives us far more information about their ability to walk, stride, weight etc... than any fossil evidence alone ever could.

www.sciencedaily.com...
edit on 1-4-2015 by peter vlar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 11:12 PM
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originally posted by: gort51
a reply to: Noinden

Well said.

(a) The reason they classify "Australopithecine" is that they have established that these creatures were bipedal, and walked upright, apparently a trait of early Homos. Had they dragged their knuckles, I assume they would be classified as lesser Primates.


right...because every find is classified as a direct ancestor of Homo Sapiens. Of wait, Sahelanthropus Tchadensis and Orrorin Tugenensis aren't though are they? There is a lot more that goes into taxonomic classification than whether or not it was bipedal. There are a great many morphological features used in determining taxonomic relationships.


(b) Yes monkeys and apes are cousins, as we are, hence the reason for my post...they dont ALL automatically evolve into Humans.


Nor is that the stance of Paleoanthropologists. There is a lot more out there going in in paleontology and paleoanthropology than yahoo or your twitter feed are telling you. And we aren't cousins of apes, we are apes just for future reference.


(c) Yes Homo Erectus is THOUGHT???? to have spread from Africa...in Theory. There are still amazing things to find....that recent 900,000 year old (supposedly) jaw bone in Great Britain, certainly stirs up the juices.....so are white people 900,000 years old?


Great, but there are many hominids and members of the genus Homo out there from that time period(H. Antecessor anyone?) and 900KYA is over a million years after H. Erectus began moving its way out of Africa and across Europe and Asia. I'm not sure what point you're trying to drive at with the question on skin color but no, they weren't white.


and why not???


Because we can and have mapped when the gene for white skin originated.


Who can determine absolutely?? Noone!!


By that logic then we can't prove you are a real person as opposed to an AI



Do you honestly think Orangutans and Gigantopithicus's ancestors swam or walked 10,000s of miles?


Yes, I do as do many other Anthropologists


or that early Homo carried them on their backs?


now there's a new one! I can always count on ATS for that at least.


Perhaps they Devolved from greater Homos?


what exactly is a greater Homo? Also, there is no such thing as Devolving. Evolution isn't a directional function. Any change in alleles or gene function is evolution. it doesn't carry a map indicating forward or backwards movement.



As you can see, things are not simply black and white (pun intended), as some seem to think.

Honestly, you're one of the few that seems to think this is what is promoted. Anyone who can be bothered to do just some basic research will quickly realize its a hot mess and there are no easy answers, easy solutions or cut and dry, black&white implications.


And yes, we Neanderthals Still hate the bloody heat!!!!
.


Thank goodness for AC then!



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 08:43 AM
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originally posted by: Lazzzarus22
While we are down here trying to understand our own history, the aliens are up there in the sky laughing.


Why would they be laughing? The problems on earth are far from funny. If anything, they have already packed up and left in disgust.
edit on 2-4-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 08:46 AM
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a reply to: gort51

Do you know how a tree diagram works in computer science or math? The closer you travel to the source, the less branches there are. These earlier branches are all ancestors to all the branches that come off of it.

So scientists finding an ape like skull and saying that humans probably evolved from its species is very applicable.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 08:48 AM
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originally posted by: TinfoilTP
Imagine if the only preserved specimen they find a million years from now are fragments of the elephant man.

They will create whole charts and hypotheses out of the discovery. Then they find a midget wrestler and have to redo their whole charts.


Kind of like how AA theorists cherry pick examples of deformed skulls as evidence of alien human hybridization?




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