Tags: early | human | species | found | ethiopia

Early Human Species Found, Complicating Our Ancestral Timeline

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 01:46 PM

An early human species has been found by researchers in the Afar region of Ethiopia and the discovery was published in the journal Nature online this week.

Scientists unearthed jaw bones and teeth and believe they date back to between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years ago. According to BBC News, this indicates the ancestor lived during the same time as other early human species, suggesting the “Homo sapiens” family tree is more complex than what scientists believed prior to the discovery.

The study calls the new species “Australipithecus deyiremeda,” meaning “close relative” in the Afar people’s language.

The remains are believed to belong to four people, and the BBC reported that the individuals would have had features like those of both apes and humans.

Lead researcher Yohannes Haile-Selassie told the BBC there were differences between the bones found in Ethiopia and those of other pre-human species.

“This new species has very robust jaws,” Haile-Selassie said. “In addition, we see this new species had smaller teeth. The canine is really small — smaller than all known hominins we have documented in the past.”

The first found of these other hominins is “Australopithecus afarensis,” known commonly as Lucy. Originally, she was considered to be a direct ancestor of humans, living 2.9 to 2.8 million years ago, according to the BBC.

The discoveries of “Kenyanthropus platyops” in Kenya in 2001, and of “Australopithecus bahrelghazali” in Chad, and now this new species suggest co-existing relatives.

According to the Morning Ledger, there is some dispute over whether the remains are a part of a new species as they are similar to those belonging to “Kenyanthropus platyops.”

“That hypothesis of linear evolution has to be revisited,” Haile-Selassie said. “And now with the discovery of more species, like this new one . . .  you have another species roaming around. What this means is we have many species that could give rise to later hominins, including our own genus ‘Homo.’”

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An early human species has been found by researchers in the Afar region of Ethiopia and the discovery was published in the journal Nature online this week.
early, human, species, found, ethiopia
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2015-46-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 01:46 PM
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