Lucy Relative Found

It is good to see yet more evidence been unearthed.  We are very much part of a process that will last centuries in which a scrap here and a scrap there will slowly piece together a coherent story of mankind’s predecessors.

This is an additional data point on Lucy and adds information.

The recent discovery of Floriensis has forcibly reminded us all of just how little data we have and how much will be needed to fill in both the developmental blanks but also the geographical blanks.

The scant handful of data points we have merely confirms presence of evidence, but is like been handed a couple of pieces in a thousand piece jigsaw.

There is much more to come and all opinion must be viewed as tentative at best.

3.6 million-year-old 'Lucy' relative found
by Staff Writers
Cleveland (UPI) Jun 23, 2010 

The specimen was nicknamed "Kadanuumuu" (kah-dah-nuu-muu) by the researchers.

U.S.-led scientists say they've discovered a 3.6-million-year-old partial skeleton in Ethiopia, making it 400,000 years older than the famous "Lucy" skeleton.

Scientists from The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, Ethiopia's Addis Ababa University and the Berkeley Geochronology Center said the find suggests advanced human-like, upright walking occurred much earlier than previously thought.

The researchers, led by Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at the Cleveland museum, said the partial skeleton belongs to "Lucy's" species -- Australopithecus afarensis. It was excavated during a five-year period following the discovery of a fragment of its lower arm bone in 2005.

The specimen was nicknamed "Kadanuumuu" (kah-dah-nuu-muu) by the researchers. "Kadanuumuu" means "big man" in the Afar language and reflects its large size, the scientists said, noting the male hominid stood between 5 and 5 1/2 feet tall, while "Lucy" stood at about 3 1/2 feet.

"This individual was fully bipedal and had the ability to walk almost like modern humans," said Haile-Selassie. "As a result of this discovery, we can now confidently say 'Lucy' and her relatives were almost as proficient as we are walking on two legs, and the elongation of our legs came earlier in our evolution than previously thought," Haile-Selassie said.

The study appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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