Archaeology Ethiopia Archaeologists Make Important Fossil Find

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by mscbkc070904, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Archaeologists studying human origins in eastern Ethiopia have discovered 12 fossils that appear to be older than the famous fossil "Lucy," the team leader said on Saturday.
    "The discovery of 12 early hominid fossil specimens estimated to be between 3.8 to 4 million years old will be important in terms of understanding the early phases of human evolution before Lucy," Ethiopian archeologist Yohannes Haile Selassie told a news conference.

    "It is hoped that the new discoveries will allow scientists to connect the dots, furthering our knowledge of the time period in human evolution," he added.

    Lucy is Ethiopia's world-acclaimed archaeological find. The discovery of the almost complete hominid skeleton, estimated to be at least 3.2 million years old, in 1974 was a landmark in the search for the origins of humanity.

    Yohannes said the new find was made approximately 37 miles north of the site where Lucy was discovered in the eastern region of Afar.

    The excavated specimens included parts of one individual's skeleton, complete with ribs, vertebrae and pelvis, he said. Animal remains were also uncovered.

    Twenty years after Lucy was unearthed, archaeologists dug up the remains of a chimpanzee-sized ape, estimated at 4.4 million years old, in the same Afar region.
     
  2. poonchang

    poonchang New Member

    Yeah, I just broke the story on ATS:

    U.S. and Ethiopian scientists have discovered fossil remains of what they believe is our first walking ancestor. This find would be the world's oldest early human skeleton, a hominid that lived in the wooded grasslands of Africa nearly 4 million years ago. The fossilized bones were discovered in February at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopia. The fossils include a complete tibia from the lower part of the leg, parts of a thighbone, ribs, vertebrae, a collarbone, pelvis and a complete shoulder blade. However, the most important fossil in the collection is an ankle bone which, along with the tibia, proves the creature walked upright on two legs.
    [more]
    [news]
    story.news.yahoo.com
    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - A team of U.S. and Ethiopian scientists has discovered the fossilized remains of what they believe is humankind's first walking ancestor, a hominid that lived in the wooded grasslands of the Horn of Africa nearly 4 million years ago.

    The bones were discovered in February at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopia, said Bruce Latimer, director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. They are estimated to be 3.8-4 million years old.

    The fossils include a complete tibia from the lower part of the leg, parts of a thighbone, ribs, vertebrae, a collarbone, pelvis and a complete shoulder blade, or scapula. There also is an ankle bone which, with the tibia, proves the creature walked upright, said Latimer, co-leader of the team that discovered the fossils.

    The bones are the latest in a growing collection of early human fragments that help explain the evolutionary history of man.

    "Right now we can say this is the world's oldest bipedal (an animal walking on two feet) and what makes this significant is because what makes us human is walking upright," Latimer said. "This new discovery will give us a picture of how walking upright occurred."
    [/news]


    The specimen is the only the fourth partial skeleton ever to be discovered that is older than 3 million years. It was found after two months of excavation at Mille, 37 miles from the famous Lucy discovery. The bones are the latest in a growing collection of early human fragments that help explain the evolutionary history of man. "It is a once in a lifetime find," says one of the researchers. Yes, that's an understatement.

    Scientists are yet to classify the new find, which they believe falls between A. ramidus and A. afarensis, the 3.2 million-year-old species widely known by the nearly complete "Lucy" fossil, which measures about 4 feet tall. I wonder how this discovery will change our ancestral "family tree." It seems that paleontologists are finding new hominid species more and more frequently. Who knows what other fossil remains are waiting to be discovered.


    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/story.jsp?story=617252
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4322687.stm
    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=scienceNews&storyID=7815576



    And here are some links for background info and phylogenetic trees:

    http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/

    http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ha/a_tree.html

    http://www.origins.tv/darwin/trees.htm

    http://www.becominghuman.org/



    I think this is fascinating!! I wonder where on the family tree this find will be placed? I also can't wait to find out what they name it.

    Great Find!!
    :up:
     
  3. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Thats what i am looking for poon, right there, someone who takes interest and adds on, thank you, thank you. Please do, if you find anything else on anything Ihave alreayd posted, as an update to the original, post it to thaat thread. I do go back and look but dont see anything updating it.

    M