Fifteen years ago, Berkeley scientist Tim White and a team of researchers from Ethiopia and America found bones of a hominid older than the 3.2 million-year-old Lucy (A. afarensis). The team collected 110 bones, enough to reconstruct the skeletons of what was unveiled today as Ardipithecus ramidus. These bones date from 4.4 million years ago! Carl Zimmer points out several ways that this prehistoric species tells us new things about the development of humans. For example, in some animal species (including apes), male canine teeth are much bigger than the female version. These are the species in which competition for females often turns violent.
White and his colleagues found so many teeth of different Ardipithecus individuals that they could compare male and female canines with some confidence. The male teeth turn out to be surprisingly blunted. This result suggests that hominids shifted away from a typical ape social structure early in our ancestry. If this was a result of males forming long-term bonds with females and helping raise young, this shift was able to occur while hominids were still living a very ape-like life. Ardipithecus existed about 2 million years before the oldest evidence of stone tools, suggesting that technology was not the trigger for the evolution of nice hominid guys.

There have been a couple of hominid bones found that are even older than Ardipithecus, but none with enough fossils to even begin reconstructing a skeleton. Link -via Metafilter

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

i hate that im a christian and as soon as i question evolution im considered crazy..the problem with science is you can prove whatever you want .. a real scientist trys to disprove his hypothesis that is the only way to get a non bi-est conclusion...btw human or not shes a FOX
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
For those who dont belive in the Bible..and DO believe Evolution . I challange you to read a particular book.
"Darwin on Trial." by Phillip Johnson. It shreads the evolution theory on every level !!! this fossil skeleton helps to prove the bible by showing that this perosn WAS NO A KNUCKLE WALKER from sthe study of its hand..hence not from the primate family, interesting isnt it? Once you read with an open mind..beware of the other lies you might discover have been told to the book..!!!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Pete -

Yes, I think it must have been an intermediate stage, too. It's just hard to imagine what set of competitive pressures would bring a woodland inhabiting creature, with physical characteristics that enabled her to be a very efficient tree climber/dweller to also stand up and walk around on two feet. As the documentary points out, bipedalism is inefficient and slow. What advantage did it offer to Ardi? I guess I wasn't convinced by the argument that it allowed males to bring breakfast in bed to their mates.

As my husband and I and our friends have aged and begun to experience increasing stiffness in our backs and hips, I've come to believe that this bipedal design of ours must be a work in progress. Hopefully, all the kinks will be ironed out before another 4 million years pass.

I think an interpretation of the Judeo-Christian creation story that allows for days that last hundreds of millions of years is much more sensible than strict, literal interpretations.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
CathyG - On your earlier comment/question regarding Ardi's feet: We may have found her at a point and time when evolution was kicking the toe off the foot and moving toward a more bipedal form. Much the same way today's snakes still have that remnant of a leg that they use during mating....just a thought.

I once took the opportunity to talk to some Jehovah's witnesses for several hours (why? cause I'm curious) and their explanation of the days of creation were that a day could have been the equivalent of millions of years and the use of the term days was used purely metaphorically.

and by all means, if I've misquoted something, or offended, please correct me
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
"there was once a creature on this earth (early version of man to say) that is not the same as us."

Ardi's not the same as us because 4.4 million years is a lot of time for evolution to bring about significant change.

"This proves that there was a race of man on this earth before adam and was later wiped out along with the dinosaurs."

First of all, Ardi doesn't appear to have had the intelligence to make tools, tame fire, hold a conversation or conceive of God. So it's a way big stretch to call her human. Secondly, do you really believe that dinosaurs and Ardi co-existed?

Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More