4.4-Million-Year-Old Female Skeleton Could Be Direct Human Ancestor
October 5, 2009 Leave a comment
A million years older than “Lucy” Australopithecus afarensis skeleton found in 1974.
“This is not an ordinary fossil. It’s not a chimp. It’s not a human.
It shows us what we used to be.” – Tim White, Ph.D., Lead Scientist,
Univ. of California-Berkeley
Ardipithecus ramidus female lived in Ethiopia
4.4 million years ago. Bones were discovered in an Ethiopian
desert along with at least 35 other members of the species in 1992.
Called “Ardi,” she was about 4 feet tall, weighed 110 pounds, lived in trees,
but walked upright on the ground carrying food in her long arms. Thus,
Ardi is a hybrid, a transitional hominid, that could be a direct ancestor
in an evolutionary line that became Homo sapiens.
Illustration by J. H. Matternes, Science.