Scientists discovered the foot bones of a 3.4-million-year-old pre-human species in 2009 in a part of Ethiopia known as Burtele. The bones belonged to…Read More »
a still unknown hominin, the researchers reported in March 2012 in the journal Nature. Particularly the big toe, which looks more similar to a gorilla's than a modern human's, is providing information about how humanity began to walk upright. The species also seems to have lived alongside Australopithecus afarensis, the first incontrovertible evidence for the presence of at least two pre-human species living at the same time and place around 3.4 million years ago. Less «
The fossils were discovered in the Burtele area in Ethiopia, in the northwestern part of the Woranso-Mille study area (shown here). Nowadays this area…Read More »
is hot and dry, with temperatures skyrocketing up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). But fossils of fish, crocodiles and fish, along with features of the sediment, suggest the environment was "a mosaic of river and delta channels adjacent to an open woodland of trees and bushes," said researcher Beverly Saylor of Case Western Reserve University. Less «
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The Human Foot
Credit: Kimberly A. Congdon, Carol Ward, and Elizabeth Harman (deceased).
Unlike Australopithecus and humans, the foot bones of the unknown hominin lacked an arch, an energy-absorbing feature of feet that helps protect bones.…Read More »
Shown here, the bones of a human foot showing the arched configuration and the location of the fourth metatarsal. Less «
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Credit: Zeresenay Alemseged and Copyright Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultrual Heritages (ARCCH).
With this unknown hominin living at the same time and in the same place as Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, the researchers think the two may…Read More »
have co-existed because they exploited different niches: Lucy would've spent time walking upright on the ground, while this newbie may have spent its time up in the trees. (Shown here, the skull of a juvenile Australopithecus afarensis, the oldest known fossil of a girl.) Less «