The Homunculus

Psychology, Anthropology, Evolution

Hello Ardi

Posted by Joy Icayan on October 2, 2009

ardiScience writes on the discovery of Ardi, the oldest human skeleton found which predates famous Lucy by at least a million years. Ardi belonging to the species Ardipithecus ramidus lived 4.4M years ago and was female, weighed 110 pounds, and had a small brain. She was found in the Afar desert in Ethiopia, 76 km from where Lucy was also found more than three decades ago.

One of the more surprising findings on Ardi suggest that the species was bipedal but crawled on trees. Since Ardi was found to be living in a wooded area, this finding challenges the earlier notion that bipedalism evolved when hominids left the woodlands for the open grasslands. Anthropologist Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University suggests it all had to do with sex and food.

Most importantly, the dicovery disproves the missing link theory that humans originated from a chimp like ancestor. It suggests that chimpanzees and humans evolved from a common ancestor around six to seven million years ago, and have been evolving independently since. National Geographic News provide an interactive timeline on our redefined evolutionary history, where you can also, uhm, explore Ardi’s body parts.

Links:

Ardipithecus Ramidus (free articles!) from Science

Oldest Human Skeleton Found – Disproves Missing Link

Did Early Humans Start Walking for Sex?

Ardipithecus Ramidus Lights the Way

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