Thursday, October 1, 2009

Move over Lucy - Here's Ardi!

Lucy has been dethroned as the oldest human-like skeleton. Discovered in 1974, scientists believe that Lucy lived more than 3 million years ago. She was quite the catch at the time as her discovery showed evidence similarities in brain size to that of an ape, and yet evidence of upright walking like that of humans. At the time, scientist were psyched to see new evidence that bipedalism, walking upright on two legs, happened before an increase in brain size on the path of human evolution.

But now there is Ardi, a 4-foot,110-pound female discovered to have lived more than 4.4 million years ago. Ardi has shown scientists that humans may have evolved not from apes, but that both humans and apes may have evolved from a common ancestor 6 or 7 million years ago, however, their evolutionary paths split long ago. Read more about Ardi here and here, and catch a refresher on Lucy here.

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