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Latest Prehistoric Africa Stories

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...

2006-03-24 11:00:00

ADDIS ABABA -- A hominid skull discovered in Ethiopia could fill the gap in the search for the origins of the human race, a scientist said on Friday. The cranium, found near the city of Gawis, 500 km (300 miles) southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, is estimated to be 200,000 to 500,000 years old. The skull appeared "to be intermediate between the earlier Homo erectus and the later Homo sapiens," Sileshi Semaw, an Ethiopian research scientist at the Stone Age Institute at Indiana University,...

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2006-02-23 12:50:00

NASA -- Forget the textbook story about tool use and language sparking the dramatic evolutionary growth of the human brain. Instead, imagine ancient hominid children chasing frogs. Not for fun, but for food. According to Dr. Stephen Cunnane it was a rich and secure shore-based diet that fuelled and provided the essential nutrients to make our brains what they are today. Controversially, according to Dr. Cunnane our initial brain boost didn't happen by adaptation, but by exaptation, or...

2006-01-12 09:35:18

By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The answer to a scientific "who-done-it?" has revealed a chilling fact: We used to be bird food. Scientists announced on Thursday they had definitive proof that the "Taung child," a 2-million year old apeman skull famed as one of the most dramatic human evolutionary finds, was killed and eaten by an eagle. "Birds used to eat us and in doing so they shaped our behavior," said Dr Lee Berger, a palaeoanthropologist at Johannesburg's University...

2005-08-23 07:15:26

TBILISI, Georgia -- Archaeologists in the former Soviet republic of Georgia have unearthed a skull they say is 1.8 million years old - part of a find that holds the oldest traces of humankind's closest ancestors ever found in Europe. The skull from an early member of the genus Homo was found Aug. 6 and unearthed Sunday in Dmanisi, an area about 60 miles southeast of the capital, Tbilisi, said David Lortkipanidze, director of the Georgian National Museum, who took part in the dig. In total,...

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2005-05-19 19:52:14

HYDERABAD, India (AFP) -- Two primitive tribes in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands are believed to be direct descendants of the first humans who migrated from Africa at least 50,000 years ago, according to a study by Indian biologists. A team of biologists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad studied the DNA of 10 Onge and Great Andamanese people in the Indian Ocean archipelago who lived for tens of thousands of years in "genetic...

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2005-03-03 13:30:00

Scientists working with powerful imaging computers say the spectacular "Hobbit" fossil recently discovered in Indonesia had distinctive brain features that could justify its classification as a separate - and tiny - human ancestor. The new report, published Thursday in the online journal Science Express, seems to support the idea of a human dwarf species marooned for eons while modern man spread across the planet. Detractors of the theory, however, said the computer models were unconvincing....

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2005-02-16 14:00:31

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new analysis of bones unearthed nearly 40 years ago in Ethiopia has pushed the fossil record of modern humans back to nearly 200,000 years ago - perhaps close to the dawn of the species. Researchers determined that the specimens are around 195,000 years old. Previously, the oldest known fossils of Homo sapiens were Ethiopian skulls dated to about 160,000 years ago. Genetic studies estimate that Homo sapiens arose about 200,000 years ago, so the new research brings the...

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2005-01-20 07:05:00

PARIS (AFP) -- Palaeontologists say they have found a fossil haul from at least nine hominids who lived in eastern Africa more than four million years ago in the early chapters of human history. The discovery was made at As Duma in Ethiopia's Afar region, near the border with Djibouti, they report in Thursday's issue of Nature, the weekly British scientific journal. The find -- mainly teeth, pieces of jaw, hand and feet --- are dated as between 4.32-4.51 million years old and belonging to...


Latest Prehistoric Africa 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....

Homo sapiens
2013-09-24 13:55:52

Homo sapiens is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and various other extinct species of hominid. H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, distinguished from their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens_idaltu). Subspecies of H. sapiens include Homo sapiens idaltu, roughly translated as “elder wise human” and...

Homo sapiens idaltu
2013-09-24 12:20:45

Homo sapiens idaltu is an extinct subspecies of Homo sapiens that lived nearly 160,000 years ago during the Pleistocene in Africa. “Idaltu” comes from the Saho-Afar word meaning “elder” or “first born”. The fossilized remains of H. s. idaltu were uncovered at Herto Bouri near the Middle Awash site of Ethiopia’s Afar Triangle in the year 1997 by Tim White, but were first revealed in 2003. Herto Bouri is a portion of Ethiopia under volcanic layers. By using radioisotope dating,...

Homo floresiensis
2013-09-16 13:06:40

Homo floresiensis Homo floresiensis, or Flores Man, nicknamed “hobbit” and “Flow”, is an extinct species in the genus Homo. The remains of an individual that would have stood about 3 feet in height were uncovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Incomplete skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete cranium. These remains have been the focus of intense research to establish whether they represent a species distinctive from modern humans....

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Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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