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Latest Australopithecus Stories

2009-02-03 09:30:00

Computer simulation shows early humans had jaws to eat diet of hard seeds and nutsYour mother always told you not to use your teeth as tools to open something hard, and she was right. Human skulls have small faces and teeth and are not well-equipped to bite down forcefully on hard objects. Not so of our earliest ancestors, say scientists. New research published in the February 2009 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals nut-cracking abilities in our...

2008-04-16 03:00:00

By Groves, Colin The ancestors of the miniature hominins found on the Indonesian island of Flores may have spread out of Africa even before the ancestors of modern humans. The fossil record of human evolution is extremely well-known, comparable to only a few other large mammals, such as elephants. Fifty years ago, specialists were speaking of a single main line of human evolution, progressing from Australopithecus africanus (small brain, short legs, prominent jaws) through Homo erectus to...

2008-03-24 01:56:49

A 6 million-year-old early relative of modern humans apparently walked on two feet, pushing back the origins of so-called bipedalism, according to a new study of a fossil found in Kenya. "I would say at this point it's the earliest fossil hominin that we can clearly identify as bipedal," said paleoanthropologist William Jungers of Stony Brook University, who conducted a quantitative analysis with Brian Richmond of George Washington University of a fossilized femur bone from the...

2007-08-12 12:19:32

By Khaled Kazziha Associated Press NAIROBI, Kenya -- One of the world's leading paleontologists denounced Ethiopia's decision to send the Lucy skeleton on a six- year tour of the United States, warning that the 3.2 million-year- old fossil will likely be damaged no matter how careful its handlers are. The skeleton was quietly flown out of Ethiopia last week for the U.S. tour. Paleontologist Richard Leakey joined other experts in criticizing what some see as a gamble with one of the...

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2007-08-01 03:00:00

By Simon Usborne It was 1974 and Dr Donald Johanson and his student, Tom Gray, were heading back to camp after a fruitless morning searching for fossils in the scorched ravines of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. Then something in the dust caught Gray's eye. It was part of an arm, immediately recognisable as hominid, or human-like. As the American paleoanthropologists looked further, they spotted fragments of a skull, thigh, ribs and jaw. Bone sightings in the Awash valley, one of the world's...

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2006-10-25 00:00:00

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- One of the world's most famous fossils - the 3.2 million-year-old Lucy skeleton unearthed in Ethiopia in 1974 - will go on display abroad for the first time in the United States, officials said Tuesday. Even the Ethiopian public has only seen Lucy twice. The Lucy exhibition at the Ethiopian Natural History Museum in the capital, Addis Ababa, is a replica while the real remains are usually locked in a vault. A team from the Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas,...

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2006-09-20 19:55:00

NEW YORK - In a discovery sure to fuel an old debate about our evolutionary history, scientists have found a remarkably complete skeleton of a 3-year-old female from the ape-man species represented by "Lucy." The remains found in Africa are 3.3 million years old, making this the oldest known skeleton of such a youthful human ancestor. "It's a pretty unbelievable discovery... It's sensational," said Will Harcourt-Smith, a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History in New York who...

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2006-08-31 07:40:00

A new study suggests that prehistoric birds of prey made meals out of some of our earliest human ancestors. Researchers drew this conclusion after studying more than 600 bones from modern-day monkeys. They had collected the bones from beneath the nests of African crowned eagles in the Ivory Coast's Tai rainforest. A full-grown African crowned eagle is roughly the size of an American bald eagle, which typically weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. Punctures and scratches on many of the monkey skulls...

2006-04-12 12:05:19

By Patricia Reaney LONDON (Reuters) - An international team of scientists have discovered 4.1 million year old fossils in eastern Ethiopia that fill a missing gap in human evolution. The teeth and bones belong to a primitive species of Australopithecus known as Au. anamensis, an ape-man creature that walked on two legs. The Australopithecus genus is thought to be an ancestor of modern humans. Seven separate species have been named. Au. anamensis is the most primitive. "This new...

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2006-04-12 14:40:00

WASHINGTON -- Fossils have long provided snapshots of the human family tree, but a new find in Africa gives scientists a kind of mini home movie showing man's primal development. Because the 4.2-million-year-old fossil is from the same human ancestral hot spot in Ethiopia as remains from seven other human-like species, scientists can now fill in the gaps for the most complete evolutionary chain so far. "We just found the chain of evolution, the continuity through time," said Ethiopian...


Latest Australopithecus Reference Libraries

Australopithecus garhi
2013-11-29 11:38:51

Australopithecus garhi is a gracile australopithecine species whose fossils were discovered in 1996 by a research team led by Ethiopian paleontologist Berhane Asfaw ad Tim White, an American paleontologist. The remains are believed to be a human ancestor species and most likely the direct ancestor to the human genus Homo. Tim White was the scientist to find the first of the key A. garhi fossils in 1996 within the Bouri Formation found in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression....

Australopithecus africanus
2013-11-29 10:55:07

Australopithecus africanus was an early hominid, an australopithecine that lived between roughly 3.03 and 2.04 million years ago in the later Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Au. africanus was of slender build and was thought to have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. Fossil remains signify that Au. africanus was considerably more like modern humans that Au. afarensis, with a more human-like cranium permitting a larger brain and more humanoid facial features. This hominid has only been...

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Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'