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Posts Tagged "Ardipithecus"

Observations

Was “Ardi” not a human ancestor after all? New review raises doubts

human and primate skulls

Genetic findings often underscore the notion that organisms with similar-looking body parts aren’t always close evolutionary relatives. Wings for flying or sharp teeth for ripping into food can be the result of convergent evolution, in which natural selection results in similar-looking solutions to problems faced by different species—whether they are distantly or closely related. Teasing [...]

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Observations

New fossil shows “Lucy” to have been steady on her feet

lucy human ancestor foot bone modern walking

At some point in the past five million years or so, our human ancestors traded in an arboreal existence for a dedicated two-legged life on the ground. A patchy fossil record, however, has frustrated researchers hoping to pinpoint the emergence of more modern human upright walking.  Even the gait of the well-studied "Lucy" species, Australopithecus [...]

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Observations

Did big babies help bring human ancestors down from the trees?

smaller chimpanzee baby riding on mother

Relative to our ape brethren, humans give birth to really big babies. This especially substantial infant size—along with newborns’ large heads and general helplessness—helped to spur the development of more advanced social systems to help mother and child safe, researchers think. A new study examines the evolution of this trend to try to pinpoint when [...]

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