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Discovery of new early human ancestor in Ethiopia

When the remains of an early human ancestor were found in Ethiopia in 1974, the discovery was seismic. The new species, Australopithecus afarensis, was promptly nicknamed the “Lucy” fossil after the famous Beatles song lyric, “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.” Now, more than four decades later, a new, nearly complete skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis individual has been found in Ethiopia by a team of scientists.

Discovery of new early human ancestor in Ethiopia
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A new and nearly complete skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis has been discovered in Ethiopia, four decades after the remains of the first individual were found in the region. The new discovery, dubbed “the most important find in the last century,” could provide crucial insights into how the early human ancestor walked and moved. The skeleton, estimated to be 3.8 million years old, belonged to an adult female who stood at about 3 feet and weighed around 60 pounds. The discovery could also help fill in gaps in the evolutionary history of humans.

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