Ethiopian fossils indicate new human ancestor

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Researchers in Ethiopia announced discovery of jaw and teeth fossils which indicate human ancestor existence in Ethiopia 3.3-3.5 million years ago, around the same time as ‘Lucy, one of the most complete human skeletal structures discovered.

The discovery gives evidence that ‘Lucy’ had company and has shed light on a cruicial period of human’s existence. Researchers have been reported saying that the new species, Australopithecus Deyiremeda has combined ape-like and human-like traits as did Lucy’s species, Australopithecus Afarensis, but was sufficiently different to warrant recognition as a separate species.

The new fossils were found at a location located only about 35 kilometers away from where Lucy’s remains were discovered in 1974.

As reported by Reuters, paleontologist Stephanie Melillo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology’s Department of Human Evolution in Germany said, “Compared to Lucy, the new species had a more robust lower jaw, cheek bones further forward on the upper jaw, molars with thicker enamel and relatively small upper and lower cheek teeth.”

She further added that the story oh Homo Sapiens is getting more and more complicated as more branches are being added to the human phylogenetic tree.

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