3.5 million years old, and the recent discovery Ramides, 4.4 million years old hominid fossil, are discovered in Haddar, along the Awash River, east of the country. They completed the missing link between Apes and men.
New fossils discovered in the Afar desert of eastern Ethiopia are a missing link between our ape-man ancestors some 3.5 million years ago and more primitive hominids a million years older, according to an international team led by the University of California, Berkeley, and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The fossils are from the most primitive species of Australopithecus, known as Au. Anamnesis, and date from about 4.1 million years ago.
The hominid Australopithecus has often been called an ape-man because, though short-stature, small-brained and big-toothed, it walked on two legs unlike the great apes. More primitive hominids in the genus Ardipithecus date from between 4.4 million and 7 million years ago and were much more ape-like, though they, too, walked on two legs. “This new discovery closes the gap between the fully blown Australopithecines and earlier forms we call Ardipithecus,” White said. “We now know where Australopithecus came from before 4 million years ago.”
The earliest modern human, Homo sapiens, estimated at 154,000 to 160,000 years old. According to the scientists, the findings provide strong evidence that Homo sapiens and Neanderthals co-existed, rather than the former descending from the latter. In two articles appearing in the June 12 edition of the journal Nature, the authors describe the fossilized crania of two adults and a child uncovered at the Herto village in the Middle Awash study area of Ethiopia, about 140 miles northeast of its capital, Addis Ababa. The fossils fill a major gap in the human fossil record. Several cave paintings and stone monuments are found in different parts of the country like Dilla, southern Ethiopia and Dire Dawa, eastern Ethiopia.
Hominid Fossils Are Likely 3.8 to 4 Million Years Old. A total of 12 early hominid fossil specimens were discovered, including parts of one individual’s skeleton. Portions recovered thus far include a complete tibia, parts of a femur, ribs, vertebrae, clavicle, pelvis, and a complete scapula of an adult whose sex and stature are yet to be determined, although it is already clear that the individual was larger than Lucy. In addition to this discovery, skeletal parts of other individuals were found in different localities in the area. These discoveries include isolated teeth, and elements from below the neck (arm bones, leg bones, phalanges). The non-hominid fossil assemblage includes animals such as monkeys, horses, large and small carnivores, a variety of antelopes multiple species of pigs, giraffes, rhinoceros, elephants, and dinotheres. Among small mammals, porcupines, cane rats, and other species of rats were discovered. The faunal assemblage also includes crocodiles, fish, and hippopotamus.