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New human ancestor?

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:17 pm
Boy, there have been so many new finds in human evolution over the last few years! It's hard to keep track. So, pardon if this isn't as recent as I think it is.

In S. Africa, the fossils of a woman and child were found in a cave. They seem to be some sort of missing link.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/photogalleries/100408-australopithecus-sediba-human-species-fossil-pictures/?source=link_fb04082010b#australopithecus-sediba-skull-oblique-view_18458_600x450.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 1,685 • Replies: 13
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:19 pm
I just heard about 20 seconds about this on the radio. This is super cool--these sorts of things always are. Thanks for the link to the article.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:21 pm
@Setanta,
sure thing!
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:25 pm
@littlek,
I am sure there were quite a few hominids aound but which one evolved into humans and if they even interbred is interesting.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:27 pm
OK, that's a link to pix.

Here's the New York Times article on this find.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:28 pm
@littlek,
It's amazing how much change was occurring in our line in such a short period of time.

There must have been a lot of variation in our genes, ready to go, and our ancestors must have been spreading into new environments very effectively. Then if there were lots of environmental changes during that time, it would account for many bottleneck isolated communities (resulting in lots of pockets of speciation).
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:32 pm
The Times article says that they determined it is a new species because it has traits of both pithecines and hominids--specifically that it had the long legs of a bi-pedal species. Very interesting stuff.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:33 pm
@Setanta,
Thanks for the link, Set.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 03:57 pm
@littlek,
From Bergers article in SCience. The two skeletons have several features that are Afarensis -like but others , like the more squared off teeth like us give this fossil a new place at the table for hominid development. The thing I found interesting is that it took aeveral years to see how the fossils were deposited
    http://scienceblogs.com/laelaps/upload/2010/04/close_to_homo_-_the_announceme/Australopithecus-sediba-skeletons-thumb-439x438-44304.jpg

Heres the complement of bones from both specimens and it appeared that they died at about the same time
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:36 pm
Cool!
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:55 pm
I just logged on to post this story. Exciting times.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 06:35 pm
Wow
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:01 pm
@plainoldme,
Now there are 8 (or maybe 9) species of Australopithecus
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Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Fri 9 Apr, 2010 01:55 am
@littlek,
Quote:
New human ancestor?
You mean "newly found old human ancestor ? " Very Happy What dictates these findings is where the right aged rock structures are already on the surface. This has led to all sorts of rubbish about possible migrations and so forth. Just because you find a fossil in one place doesnt mean they are only found there or that there were any more than a few of them. It takes about 3-5,000 years to make a new bird species, and with a long track record like we have, there are many more to find somewhere.

One of the criteria used is the number of differing key points of anatomy to determine if it is a different species or not. Great deal about nothing is made if they find a fossil and it doesnt have enough bone to distinguish it. Heated arguments develop about where to place it and these are never resolved, even if it does have enough bone, simply some opinions win out and become mainstream whilst others are relegated to the back row of the auditorium if they get invited at all.

I think it is fairly well established that our ancestral tree had many branches and it will be hard to lay these in any kind of line to determine our lineage for quite some time to come.

But dont you just love it when they release these things to the press ? The articles are so more interesting then dry journal papers. I cant wait for the documentary.... Very Happy Good post littlek !
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