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Ethiopia skull discovery and clues on human evolvement

Date: 31 August 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 

A completely intact 3.8-million-year-old skull of an early human has been unearthed in Ethiopia. The discovery that has the potential to alter our understanding of human evolution.

 

Background

 

The skull, known as "MRD", was discovered not far from the younger Lucy -- the ancient ancestor of modern humans .

Details

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  • The skull represents a mixture of characteristics of Sahelanthropus like "Toumai" and Ardipithecus like "Ardi" as well as more recent species.
  • The new skull, MRD, belongs to the species Australopithecus anamensis. MRD offers the first real glimpse of the face of Lucy's ancestor," according tthe scientists.
  • Scientists had thought A. anamensis (MRD) was gradually turning into A. afarensis (Lucy) over time but MRD reveals that the two species co-existed for about 100,000 years.

Related Information

  • Toumai (of the species Sahelanthropus tchadensis) is around 7 million years old and is considered by some paleontologists to be the first representative of the human lineage. It was discovered in Chad in 2001.
  • Ardi (for Ardipithecus ramidus, another species of hominid) was found in Ethiopia in 1994 and is believed to be around 4.5 million years old.
  • Lucy, the famous Australopithecus afarensis, was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and is 3.2 million years old.Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest-lived and most studied early human species.