Now an equally
appealing discovery had been made. Scientists excavating in
the dusty Middle Awash region of Ethiopia have unearthed an amazingly
complete skeleton of a new species of hominid -- an ancestor to
modern man -- which they have named Ardipithecus ramidus,
The find began in 1994 with the
unearthing of a hominid hand. One and a half decades later, Ardi was
revealed in her full form, a skeleton consisting of over 125 bone
pieces. Among the most complete hominid skeletons found to
date, Ardi is approximately 4.4 million years old, 1.2 million years
older than the famous "Lucy" (Australopithecus
afarensis) skeleton. Ardi is in fact the oldest hominid
found to date.
Ardi is an irresistibly appealing find to
most. It provides unprecedented insight into how humans and
apes diverged from a common ancestor approximately 7 million years
ago -- closer to Ardi's time than we are to Ardi's. And the
discovery reveals a shocking revelation -- Chimpanzees and other
close ape relatives might actually have evolved more radically than
humans did over that 7 million years.
Kent State University
anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy, a member of the Middle Awash team,
states, "This skeleton flips our understanding of human
evolution. It's clear that humans are not merely a slight
modification of chimps, despite their genomic similarity."
is closer to humans than chimps. Measuring in at 47 in. (120
cm) tall and 110 lb. (50 kg), Ardi likely walked with a strange gait,
lurching side to side, due to lack of an arch in its feet, a feature
of later hominids. It had somewhat monkey-like feet, with
opposable toes, but its feet were not flexible enough to grab onto
vines or tree trunks like many monkeys -- rather they were good
enough to provide extra support during quick walks along tree
branches -- called palm walking.
However, most of Ardi's time
was spent upright on the ground. Long dexterous fingers
showcase Ardi's humanlike characteristics; its wrists were also more
flexible than apes. These features helped it to catch things on
the ground and carry objects.
Another surprise comes in Ardi's
environment. Ardi lived in a lush grassy African woodland, with
creatures such as colobus monkeys, baboons, elephants, spiral-horned
antelopes, hyenas, shrews, hares, porcupines, bats, peacocks,
doves, lovebirds, swifts and owls. Fig trees grew around much
of the area, and it is speculated that much of Ardi's diet consisted
of these figs.
The surprise about the environment is that it
lays to rest the theory that hominids developed upright walking when
Africa's woodland-grassland mix changed to grassy savanna.
Under this now theory, hominids began standing and walking upright as
a way of seeing predators over the tall grasses. The discovery
of Ardi -- an earlier upright walker that lived in woodland --
greatly weakens this theory.
Scientists have theorized that
Ardi may have formed human-like relationships with pairing between
single males and females. Evidence of this is found in the
male's teeth, which lack the long canines that gorillas and other
non-monogamous apes use to battle for females. Describes
Professor Lovejoy, "The male canine tooth is no longer
projecting or sharp. It's no longer weaponry."
still debate over parts of the creature's skeleton. In
particular, the pelvis was smashed and had to be extensively
reconstructed using digital technology. According to Penn State
paleoanthropologist Alan Walker, who was not involved in the
discovery, "Tim [White] showed me pictures of the pelvis in the
ground, and it looked like an Irish stew."
over 110 remnants discovered from over 35 other Ardi's and a complete
skeleton, the find is undeniably exciting. States Professor
Walker, "[Ardi is] a lovely Darwinian creature. It has
features that are intermediate between the last common ancestor and
And Professor Lovejoy adds, "When
we started our work [in the Middle Awash] the human fossil record
went back to about 3.7 million years. This isn't just a
skeleton; we've been able to put together a fantastic,
high-resolution snapshot of a period that was a blank."
quote: Not everything is meant to be taken literally.
quote: The USA is falling fast and hard away from its strong religious beliefs. Which also mean we are falling fast and hard away from our morals and ethics.
quote: The USA is falling fast and hard away from its strong religious beliefs. Which also mean we are falling fast and hard away from our morals and ethics. The areas (Towns) that have fallen the furthers from religious ways have increased the most in un-ethical practices and crime.
quote: He found that the most religious democracies exhibited substantially higher degrees of social dysfunction than societies with larger percentages of atheists and agnostics. Of the nations studied, the U.S. — which has by far the largest percentage of people who take the Bible literally and express absolute belief in God (and the lowest percentage of atheists and agnostics) — also has by far the highest levels of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
quote: Otherwise, it's like playing a game with no rules, no referees, no judges, no punishment...
quote: why should I be nice when I can take it all till the day I die...
quote: Ask you University for a full refund. You can not even address my statement correctly. I was talking about morals not ethics.
quote: Which also mean we are falling fast and hard away from our morals and ethics.
quote: The ground you are standing to give the bases of your stand is built on the fear of God judgement. With out it we would be no different then say a pack of wolf
quote: The current problem in the US is the unusual focus on Christianity
quote: Quit stereotyping creationists, just because someone believes in a creator does not mean they were brainwashed by a priest into believing that.
quote: That is a different story, and there are several different theories out there. None have been tested.
quote: Why is there a duckbill platypus? Intelligence has not been quantified fully in animals, dolphins and whales are being found to be very smart. Is your questions "why don't dolphins drive a convertible then?". Because they probably evolved in a different direction.
quote: But then, I could counter that by saying there are many similarities between all mammals...especially when looking only at the genetic makeup.
quote: Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), also Lateral gene transfer (LGT), is any process in which an organism incorporates genetic material from another organism without being the offspring of that organism. By contrast, vertical transfer occurs when an organism receives genetic material from its ancestor, e.g. its parent or a species from which it evolved.
quote: They will give you a crash course in how a Christian can be and let you know that God have put us way higher than any other creature.
quote: I will be interested to know where did you get your statements about Jesus.
quote: If “blessed be the peace maker” and “Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you” are a call for separation and war, what is your version of unity and love?. I did not get an answer The words that you wrote have no message even though they may look nice to you. Smart people recognise their similarities and differences as well
quote: I have read the Bible in more than ten translations in more than one language and I have not see any difference, please let me know what were the versions that you reading, reminding you again that you have to go to the original sources
quote: by the true heart of that ideology itself
quote: Really how is atheism and unguided naturalistic evolution not a religion?
quote: How does believing that life and all its complexities came about all on its own not require a strong faith?
quote: Also, atheists tend to be pretty antagonistic towards people who do believe in a deity, look at you for an example.
quote: And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. 17
quote: Still, with over 110 remnants discovered from over 35 other Ardi's and a complete skeleton
quote: I don't understand why someone who posts a pro creationist comment gets attacked personally. Calling a creationist ignorant, naive, stupid, un-educated, illogical, irrational or any other number of attempts to discredit someone is not a rebuttal.
quote: I have very big and sharp bi-cuspids and I have never wanted to steal anyone else's mate or bitten anyone or desired to bite anyone!
quote: Does it have much relevance on the way we live and interact with each other?