Did apes descend from us?

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PostThu Oct 01, 2009 4:42 pm » by Rawdney

I thought this was a good article on the new discovery of a 4.4 million year old skeleton.


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PostThu Oct 01, 2009 4:45 pm » by Dboyseeker

:flop: interesting find. :cheers:


t may well be the closest we will ever come to the missing link between chimps and humans and the most important anthropological find ever.

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.

That's one of the shocking new theories being drawn from a series of field-altering anthropology papers published today in a special edition of the journal Science.

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.

"It is probably the most important find we have had yet," says Owen Lovejoy, a biological anthropologist at Ohio's Kent State University.

"It's transformative. This is a lot closer to anything that you'd call the missing link than anything that's ever been found," says Lovejoy, one of the primary authors on the journal package.

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.

"In a way we're saying that the old idea that we evolved from a chimpanzee is totally incorrect," he says. "It's more proper to say that chimpanzees evolved from us."

(Could that line of thinking evoke howls of outrage is some creationist quarters? "Oh God yes," Lovejoy laughs.)

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.

Chimps, he says, experienced much more profound evolutionary changes in their backs, pelvises, limbs, hands and feet as they adapted themselves to life in the trees than we ground dwellers did.

"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.

But Ardi, while past the initial link stage, possesses enough ape and hominid traits to show what those true common ancestors would have looked like, he says.

"It's the first find that we have that is really informative about what that last common ancestor was like."

And we're much more like the Ardi creature than any of today's apes, meaning they've evolved from human-like creatures - not the other way around, he says.
"At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: there was a constant surveillance by UFOs." NASA Astronaut Scott Carpenter

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PostThu Oct 01, 2009 5:01 pm » by brillbilly

it works better for me that the other way round ,but i still think we have to explain were humans came from in the first place :headscratch: :cheers:

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PostThu Oct 01, 2009 5:27 pm » by Rawdney

brillbilly wrote:it works better for me that the other way round ,but i still think we have to explain were humans came from in the first place :headscratch: :cheers:

Sorry to use this... "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" :)

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