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Palaeontology

New human ancestor discovered in Ethiopia

By T.K. Randall
May 30, 2015 · Comment icon 23 comments



A reconstruction of the hominid known as Lucy. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia
Anthropologists have unearthed the fossil remains of a human ancestor dating back 3.2 million years.
This previously undiscovered species is thought to have lived alongside 'Lucy', an individual that belonged to a separate hominid species that was also found in Ethiopia back in 1974.

For years experts had debated over whether Lucy's species was the direct ancestor of modern humans, but now with the revelation that there was at least one other hominid species living at the same time it is now unclear which, if either, of these two species was the progenitor of homo sapiens.

"The new species is yet another confirmation that Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, was not the only potential human ancestor species that roamed in what is now the Afar," said Yohannes Haile-Selassie, a paleoanthropologist from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
"Current fossil evidence clearly shows that there were at least two, if not three, early human species living at the same time and in close geographic proximity."

The new species, which dates back to between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago, had teeth and bones that differed significantly to those of Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, which dates back to between 2.9 and 3.8 million years ago.

News of the find also follows on from the recent discovery that early hominids developed the ability to create stone tools 3.3 million years ago - long before the advent of modern humans.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (23)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Likely Guy 8 years ago
You have 2 parents. They have four parents. Your four have sixteen parents... 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1,024, 2,048 parents. That's only 10 generations or about 200 to 250 years. If you go back 100 generations, there was a hundred gazillion people on the earth. That's not true, of course, but for that truth, "We are all related." Edit: I have to add, "Hey cousin!"
Comment icon #15 Posted by jarjarbinks 8 years ago
Mitochrondria eve
Comment icon #16 Posted by cormac mac airt 8 years ago
Mitochrondria eve Way too old to be Mitochondrial Eve. cormac
Comment icon #17 Posted by She-ra 8 years ago
You have 2 parents. They have four parents. Your four have sixteen parents... 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1,024, 2,048 parents. That's only 10 generations or about 200 to 250 years. If you go back 100 generations, there was a hundred gazillion people on the earth. That's not true, of course, but for that truth, "We are all related." Edit: I have to add, "Hey cousin!" This made me giggle Likely Guy Hey cousin!!
Comment icon #18 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
Given that within modern humans, dental differences can have a large range, I wonder if just the teeth actually is enough to establish a new species...
Comment icon #19 Posted by travelnjones 8 years ago
I see John Voight in the reconstruction picture
Comment icon #20 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 8 years ago
Frankly i don think we came from monkeys. I believe we came from more human like creatures. I don think monkeys will become village tribesmen a million years later. They most likely will still look the same. Living fossils r best examples..
Comment icon #21 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 8 years ago
Frankly i don think we came from monkeys. I believe we came from more human like creatures. I don think monkeys will become village tribesmen a million years later. They most likely will still look the same. Living fossils r best examples.. You are right, we didn't evolve from monkeys. We evolved from an animal that was a distant ancestor to both us and monkeys. The evolutionary split between monkeys and humans occured millions of years ago. The whole "we evolved from monkeys" is a mistake that has been perpetuated ever since Darwin !
Comment icon #22 Posted by robinrenee 8 years ago
Frankly i don think we came from monkeys. I believe we came from more human like creatures. I don think monkeys will become village tribesmen a million years later. They most likely will still look the same. Living fossils r best examples.. I agree. I believe that about 3 billion years ago a multi-celled creature slithered out of the primordial soup. It was a human. It's DNA was human, and even though there was a time when he/she looked more like a lizard, it was a human. Even though there was a time when it looked more like a monkey, it was a human. We are the smartest, baddest, craftiest cre... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 8 years ago
You are right, we didn't evolve from monkeys. We evolved from an animal that was a distant ancestor to both us and monkeys. The evolutionary split between monkeys and humans occured millions of years ago. The whole "we evolved from monkeys" is a mistake that has been perpetuated ever since Darwin ! I agree. I believe that about 3 billion years ago a multi-celled creature slithered out of the primordial soup. It was a human. It's DNA was human, and even though there was a time when he/she looked more like a lizard, it was a human. Even though there was a time when it looked more like a monkey, ... [More]


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