Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fossils Fill Human Evolution Gap

The scattering of fossil teeth and bones "represent unambiguous evidence for human evolution," says Tim White, a UC Berkeley paleoanthropologist and leader of the international Middle Awash research project.
Some of the fossils were unearthed as recently as December while the scientists were exploring sedimentary rock layers around the tiny villages of Aramis and Asa Issie, near the muddy Awash River in the rift region some 140 miles northeast of Addis Ababa.
Within those rocks, the scientists report, they found fossils from three early species of mankind's ancestors that apparently succeeded each other during less than a million years of evolution.
...The early human ancestors whose traces the team found are known as hominids. They include the genus called Australopithecus that existed throughout eastern Africa as early as 4.2 million years ago.

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