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SCI/TECH: Scientists Discover Remains of Oldest Bipedal Hominid

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posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 12:52 AM
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U.S. and Ethiopian scientists have discovered fossil remains of what they believe is our first walking ancestor. This find would be the world's oldest early human skeleton, a hominid that lived in the wooded grasslands of Africa nearly 4 million years ago. The fossilized bones were discovered in February at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopia. The fossils include a complete tibia from the lower part of the leg, parts of a thighbone, ribs, vertebrae, a collarbone, pelvis and a complete shoulder blade. However, the most important fossil in the collection is an ankle bone which, along with the tibia, proves the creature walked upright on two legs.
 



story.news.yahoo.com< br /> ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - A team of U.S. and Ethiopian scientists has discovered the fossilized remains of what they believe is humankind's first walking ancestor, a hominid that lived in the wooded grasslands of the Horn of Africa nearly 4 million years ago.

The bones were discovered in February at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopia, said Bruce Latimer, director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. They are estimated to be 3.8-4 million years old.

The fossils include a complete tibia from the lower part of the leg, parts of a thighbone, ribs, vertebrae, a collarbone, pelvis and a complete shoulder blade, or scapula. There also is an ankle bone which, with the tibia, proves the creature walked upright, said Latimer, co-leader of the team that discovered the fossils.

The bones are the latest in a growing collection of early human fragments that help explain the evolutionary history of man.

"Right now we can say this is the world's oldest bipedal (an animal walking on two feet) and what makes this significant is because what makes us human is walking upright," Latimer said. "This new discovery will give us a picture of how walking upright occurred."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



The specimen is the only the fourth partial skeleton ever to be discovered that is older than 3 million years. It was found after two months of excavation at Mille, 37 miles from the famous Lucy discovery. The bones are the latest in a growing collection of early human fragments that help explain the evolutionary history of man. "It is a once in a lifetime find," says one of the researchers. Yes, that's an understatement.

Scientists are yet to classify the new find, which they believe falls between A. ramidus and A. afarensis, the 3.2 million-year-old species widely known by the nearly complete "Lucy" fossil, which measures about 4 feet tall. I wonder how this discovery will change our ancestral "family tree." It seems that paleontologists are finding new hominid species more and more frequently. Who knows what other fossil remains are waiting to be discovered.


news.independent.co.uk...
news.bbc.co.uk...
www.reuters.com...



[edit on 3/6/05 by poonchang]




posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 01:15 AM
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Thank you for this excellent submission. It is always good to hear that science continues to shed light on the history of man. However flawed our view of the past may be, it will only be perfected through continued diligence and academic rigor, putting all the pieces of he puzzle together and drawing rational conclusions from the evidence.



posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 01:37 AM
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Here are some links containing phylogenetic trees and some background information. I know there are better ones out there, but this is all I can find at the moment.


www.anth.ucsb.edu...

www.mnh.si.edu...

www.origins.tv...

www.becominghuman.org...



posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 03:06 AM
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Did they find the Ring?

Them Hobbitsssss ssstole our Preciousss!!

Hehe, just kidding!



posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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This is truly so interesting! If you want more of peoples thoughts on this, there is another thread from yesterday with several responses...I also posted my favorite archeological site there in my post...it updates daily with finds from around the world!


www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 10:14 AM
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Thanks, Terapin.

You're absolutely correct, "human ancestor" would have been more appropriate.





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