New Earliest Human Ancestor Found: Ardi

Ardi a 4.4 million female ancestor of human beings is believed to predate Lucy. Ardi, found in the northeastern regions of Ethiopia, is 110 pound (50kg), four foot and who lived both in the trees and on the ground.

Ardi a 4.4 million female ancestor of human beings is believed to predate Lucy. Ardi, found in the northeastern regions of Ethiopia, is 110 pound (50kg), 4 foot and who lived both in the trees and on the ground.

She is the closest “missing link” ancestor between human and the great apes. Her discovery has forced scientist to rethink the human evolution and what the missing link must have looked like.

Ardi or Ardipithecus ramidus discovery overturn the widely held view of chimpanzees and gorillas as the next akin to humans. In actually the research now disproves the modern apes, but opens up a new perspective and questions about human evolution.

The fossilized skeletal remains of this animal were first found and named by Professor Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley in 1990s. Over the years since more pieces of fossilized remain were discovered. The group of scientists has discovered teeth, bones from at least 36 individuals, but Ardi was the most complete with 45 per cent intact, which included fragments of her skull, jaw and hands.

The Ardi age was not doubted because she was found sandwich between lava flows, which could be dated to about 4.4 million years ago. This places her before Lucy and by 1.2 million years.

After reconstructing the features of Ardi, she represented a mix of not only ape features but also human features such as hand bones, human teeth, and walking upright. “She could walk without the exaggerated swinging gait seen in modern apes. The bones in her feet were stiffer to help her walk and probably to run, yet her feet retained the ape’s grasping big toe. “It is so rife with anatomical surprises that no one could have imagined it without direct fossil evidence,” the authors write.”

The discovery of Ardi now questions the accuracy of the ancient ape descendants. Despite the similar characteristics, the modern apes must have undergone their unique adaptation and evolution totally different to humans.

“For this reason, the authors stress that it is no longer possible to use chimps and modern great apes as a “proxy” for the missing link.”

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One Response to “New Earliest Human Ancestor Found: Ardi”
  1. Yovita Siswati Says...

    On October 2, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Interesting article!


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