In “Before Lucy came Ardi, new earliest hominid found” (Yahoo News, Thu Oct 1, 6:33 pm ET), Randolph E. Schmid says:
The story of humankind is reaching back another million years as scientists learn more about “Ardi,” a hominid who lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. The 110-pound, 4-foot female roamed forests a million years before the famous Lucy, long studied as the earliest skeleton of a human ancestor.
This older skeleton reverses the common wisdom of human evolution, said anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University.
Rather than humans evolving from an ancient chimp-like creature, the new find provides evidence that chimps and humans evolved from some long-ago common ancestor — but each evolved and changed separately along the way.
“This is not that common ancestor, but it’s the closest we have ever been able to come,” said Tim White, director of the Human Evolution Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.
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You can also listen to a 45-minute audio interview with Dr. Tim White on the Website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which links to other goodies on their page announcing Ardi.
The hierarchy of knowledge behind understanding Ardi is amazing. In terms of discoveries in history, it reaches back hundreds of years…