Home » Ethiopian fossils discovered: Ancestors of the modern people identified: Lucy’s Companions

Ethiopian fossils discovered: Ancestors of the modern people identified: Lucy’s Companions

The discovery of a recent fossil pinpoints to the identification of a new species of ancient human. The species has been unearthed in the distant region of Ethiopia.

A lower jaw with jaw fragments and teeth were found and researchers presumed that the bones were approximately 3.5 million years old. The findings suggests that a second human ancestor was living in the same region matching the time frame of the renowned ‘Lucy’ species.

The Journal Nature published a study paper on Wednesday proclaiming the new discovery. The species discovered were called Australopithecus Deyiremeda,deriving the meaning “close relative” in the language spoken by the Afar people.

The discovery team was led by Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History who commenced that fossilized foot bones were also found in 2009. The new site isclose to thatoldspot demonstrating the presence of a second species. The previously discovered bones were not assigned to anyspeciesmaking it difficult to cross-check with the newly found bones.  Haile-Selassie said,“If they don’t, that would indicate yet another species from the same time and region as Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis”.

The new species hadstrong jaws with smaller teeth. Dr. Haile-Selassie said, “The canine is really small – smaller than all known hominins we have documented in the past.”The age of the bones and jaws suggests that this was possibly one of the four different species of early humans allliving at the same time.

The most prominent of these species wereAustralopithecus afarensis who were also known as Lucy. The species walked the earth roughly 2.9 – 3.8million years back and was originallybelieved to be our direct ancestor.

However, the discovery of another species called Kenyanthropusplatyops in Kenya in 2001, and of Australopithecus bahrelghazali in Chad, and now Australopithecus deyiremedaI, points out the co-existence of species breathing at the same time.

Researchersargues whether the numerous partial remains actually constitute different species, specifically for A. bahrelghazali. “Historically, because we didn’t have the fossil evidence to show there was hominin diversity during the middle Pliocene, we thought there was only one lineage, one primitive ancestor – in this case Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy – giving rise to the next,” stated Dr. Haile-Selassie

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Name: Joselyn King

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