Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fossils Shed New Light on Human Past

A partial skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus graces the cover of the latest issue of the journal Science.

After 15 years of rumors, researchers made public fossils from a 4.4 million-year-old human forebear they say reveals that our ancestors were more modern than scholars had assumed, widening the evolutionary gulf separating humankind from apes and chimpanzees.

The highlight of the extensive fossil trove was a female skeleton a million years older than the iconic bones of Lucy, the primitive female figure that has long symbolized humankind's beginnings.

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