Researchers have finished an assessment of 4.4 million year old fossils of the Ardipithecus ramidus, an animal that may be the oldest known human ancestor or at least a closely related species. One of the most important specimen is a partial skeleton of a female nicknamed "Ardi", this fossil is over a million years older than Lucy. Fossils of the A. ramidus were first found in Ethiopia in 1992, but it has taken 17 years to assess their significance. More info at BBC News.
Because of its age, Ardipithecus is said to take science closer to the yet-to-be-found last common ancestor with chimps, our close genetic relatives.
And because many of Ardipithecus' traits do not appear in modern-day African apes, it suggests that common ancestor may have existed much further back in time than had previously been supposed - perhaps seven or nine million years ago.
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science? by Anonymous on Friday, October 02 2009 @ 15:40:56 CEST
Sounds like a few scientists have, once again, put together pieces of bone and come up with a "creature" of their own making. Big deal.