By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jaw and teeth fossils found on the silty clay surface of Ethiopia's Afar region represent a previously unknown member of humankind's family tree that lived 3.3 to 3.5 million years ago alongside the famous human ancestor "Lucy," scientists say. The fossils shed new light on a key period in the human lineage's evolution before the emergence of our genus Homo and provide the first evidence that two early human ancestor species lived at the same time and place prior to 3 million years ago, they said in announcing the discovery on Wednesday. The new species, Australopithecus deyiremeda, combined ape-like and human-like traits as did Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, but was sufficiently different to warrant recognition as a separate species, they said. Lucy's skeleton was unearthed in 1974 about 30 miles (50 km) from the new fossils' location. The new species' cheekbone position and generally small tooth size likely made it look more like our genus than did Lucy's species, said Cleveland Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie, who led the study published in the journal Nature. The scientists found upper and lower jaws and teeth from at least three individuals, but no other remains. They previously found a 3.4 million-year-old partial fossil foot and "cannot rule out" that it belongs to the new species, Haile-Selassie said. Compared to Lucy, the new species had a more robust lower jaw, cheek bones further forward on the upper jaw, molars with thicker enamel and relatively small upper and lower cheek teeth, said paleoanthropologist Stephanie Melillo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology's Department of Human Evolution in Germany. One unanswered question is how Lucy's species and the new one managed to co-exist. "They would have been rivals if they were exploiting the same resources or had similar foraging strategies," Haile-Selassie said. Dental differences suggest they had different diets, meaning they may not have competed for the same resources. Another human relative, Kenyanthropus platyops, also lived relatively nearby in Kenya. Our species, Homo sapiens, appeared 200,000 years ago. The earliest known member of our genus lived 2.8 million years ago. Scientists previously had argued there was only one human ancestor at any time between 4 and 3 million years ago, each giving rise to another new species. "The story is becoming more complicated as more branches are added to the human phylogenetic tree," Melillo said. (Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Paul Simao)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- NBC News
"There is a very good possibility that Brian was already deceased," North Port, Florida, Police spokesperson Josh Taylor said Thursday.
- E! News
Tom Brady got candid about his family life with wife Gisele Bündchen and his children on his podcast, Let's Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo foreign female tourists were caught in a crossfire between rival crime groups and shot to death last Thursday in the high-end resort town of Tulum, Mexico. Three other people were also wounded when the firefight broke out in the popular restaurant, La Malquerida, not far from the beach. Of the two women who were killed, one was from Germany and the other India.“They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got caught in an exchange of gunfire betwee
- Saints Wire
Joe Buck won't call Week 8 Saints-Bucs 'America's Game of the Week' on FOX
Reese Witherspoon Revealed "Legally Blonde" Wasn't Allowed To Film At Stanford University After Learning The School Made An Exception For Another Project
"This is major!"View Entire Post ›
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Although Raiders coach Jon Gruden technically resigned, the resignation undoubtedly came under threat of termination, if he didn’t choose to leave voluntarily. Unresolved when he abruptly walked away was the balance of his reported 10-year, $100 million contract. Via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com, owner Mark Davis said Wednesday that a settlement has been reached. Gruden [more]
- Lexington Herald-Leader
Linda Blackford: Schools are so confusing these days. Books about the civil rights movement, no. Lap dances with administrators, yes!
Angelina Jolie let her kids reach into her own designer closet for their 'Eternals' red carpet appearances, and 15-year-old Shiloh had her own fashion moment yesterday in Jolie’s 2019 Dior dress.
The GOP lawmaker got a blunt reminder of his own past.
- NBC Sports
Portland Timbers winger Dairon Asprilla’s 22nd goal for the club is one of the best in Major League soccer history. Somewhere, Pele is giving Asprilla the Jack Nicholson “Departed” maniacal nod to this one, a goal we thought was left in the past when goalkeepers were helpless and forwards making it up as they go.
- Miami Herald
The man had one-off roles on the shows.
- NBC Sports BayArea
James Harden, Chris Paul and Patrick Beverley provided further proof as to why the NBA's officiating changes were necessary.
As her first granddaughter, Princess Charlotte is set to inherit one of Princess Diana's most famous, iconic and coveted heirlooms.
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
Love at first podcast interview.
- Washington Examiner
A Kentucky high school is under investigation after photos of male students in lingerie giving faculty lap dances were posted to the school's official Facebook page.
The Sheriff Investigating Alec Baldwin’s Shooting Gave an Update on If He Could Be Criminally Charged
Alec fatally shot his cinematographer with a prop gun. But could he be charged for manslaughter?
Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino dropped a real whopper this week.
A Fan Grabbing Adam Levine On Stage Brought Up Discussions About Consent — With The Singer Defending His Reaction, Saying He Was Just "Really Startled"
"I have always been someone that loves, respects, worships our fans," he said on his Instagram story.View Entire Post ›
- Madame Noire
Especially as they voyage back home, we wish the Arby family the best.
The late-night host offered a way to immortalize the Fox News star... if it catches on.