Ethiopian Fossils Bring New Intrigue to Evolutionary Debates: Anthropology: Bones of human ancestors

Researchers found a 3-million-year-old boneyard in Ethiopia that will bring to raise a debate about the earliest ancestors, a species of a skeleton called “Lucy.” During a 1974 expedition, paleoanthropologist Donald C. Johanson and his team discovered Lucy (the oldest hominid) the 3.5 foot tall species at Hadar. The new discoveries prove the first hominids’ are identical to the primates that go after them, giving a new intake into evolution. The fossils prove that there was another species living with Lucy. One of their most important discoveries was a jawbone that looks similar to those of apes who went extinct 12 to 8 million years ago. Hadar is at the north of the East African Rift, which stretches through Kenya and Mozambique. There have been many famous fossils along there that have shed light to mankind. In 1975, Hadar yielded the “First Family,” the collection of fossils of 13 individuals. Researchers called Lucy and the First Family Australopithecus afarensis. One of the fascinating discoveries was an upper jaw and partial face that Lucy had as well. Australopithecus africanus had some of the exact same traits as those of the species related to Lucy. The “southern ape of Africa” was a descendant of the Australopithecus afarensis and a strong species that later became extinct. The different traits of the species suggest that Lucy and her related species were evolving into humans.