Ethiopian fossils show our ancestors stepped out 4.5m years ago
By Christopher Thompson
21 January 2005
Fossil hunters in Ethiopia have discovered the remains of at least nine primitive hominids, nearly 4.5 million years old, which scientists claim could help fill some of the gaps in early human evolution
The finds, revealed in Nature magazine, mainly consist of teeth and jaw fragments, but also include parts of feet and hands. Scientists say that the features of a foot bone uncovered at As Duma, in the north of the country, prove that the hominid it belonged to walked upright like present-day humans. All the finds belong to the Ardipithecus ramidus species, which was discovered a decade ago.
Sileshi Semaw, of the Craft Stone Age Institute, described the find as "very important" because it confirmed that hominids walked upright on two feet up to 4.5 million years ago. The age of the remains was determined by dating nearby volcanic material.Full Article