Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Planet where Ape Evolved from Man?



Charleston Heston's character from The Planet of The Apes series may have got it right.

According to a series of studies released today, a Skeleton of Ardi, 1.2-metre, 50-kilogram female may hold the clue.

Read the full Article here
In a series of studies released today by the journal Science, researchers have revealed a creature that took the first upright steps toward human beings and fundamentally changes the way we look at our earliest evolutionary ancestors.
The research brings into question the belief that our most distant ancestors descended from apes.

What's closer to the truth is that our knuckle dragging cousins descended from us.
Meet Ardi, a 1.2 metre, 50-kilogram female that is going to cause a big fuss throughout the anthropology world.

In 11 papers and summaries unveiled by the journal, researchers have revealed the partial skeleton of a creature that undoubtedly walked upright like our "hominid" predecessors, yet had many of the distinctive hallmarks of climbing apes.
Among other things, research on the 4.4 million year old creature suggests that humans are far more primitive in an evolutionary sense than the great apes -- like chimps and gorillas -- of today.

Lovejoy explains that the "hominid" lines of upright species that evolved, in fits and starts, into humans, have much more in common physiologically with Ardi than do modern chimpanzees.

"Hominids, it turns out to be, are pretty primitive," Lovejoy says

"We're pretty much unchanged, or let's say we're less changed since the last common ancestor with chimpanzees than are chimpanzees."

Lovejoy explains that the actual missing link -- or last common ancestor in scientific parlance -- may have first sprung up some six million years before Ardi - short for Ardipithecus ramidus.
The Star
JOSEPH HALL
SCIENCE WRITER



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