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Human fossils - Essay Example

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Upon the surfacing of new fossil evidences, the concept regarding evolution had been turned. This is regarding the discovery of upright primates that…
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Human Fossils There are recent findings in relation to human evolution that can eliminate prior theories regarding the early human ancestors. Upon the surfacing of new fossil evidences, the concept regarding evolution had been turned. This is regarding the discovery of upright primates that cannot be classified to pre-existing phylogeny in the human evolution. It was compared to Lucy (an A. afarensis) which was prior to the discovery was considered as the connection of humans to the (Lemonick and Dorfman part 1 par. 2). On the latest record, there are three groups belonging to human ancestry.
One of the species that can be related to human is the Sahelanthropus tchadensis sp. nov. with the specimen found in Chad specifically the Djurab Desert and commonly called ‘Toumai.’ The particular specimen was tentatively recognized to exist 6 to 7 million years ago (Brunet et. al. 146). The find had been astonishing according to NPR’s interview with David Kestenbaum who expressed that compared to Lucy with protruding facial anatomy which he referred to as snout, Toumai or the Sahelanthropus tchadensis sp. nov. already had a flat face which is very similar to the appearance of the humans in the modern time. This is remarkable due to the fact that the fossil is significantly older than the group where Lucy belongs, which is the A. afarensis.
Compared to living apes, Sahelanthropus has ‘smaller canines and apical wear and a full occlusion.’ It is also very distinct from other recorded hominids and related genus. With other related specimens, the S. tchadensis sp. nov. has a tall facial feature with ‘massive brow ridge’ and a short mid-face (Brunet et. al. 147). The braincase indicated a brain with the same size as the Pan but smaller than that of the Gorilla and the Australopithecus (Brunet et. al. 148).
The particular find is significant in the achievement of the clearer view of human evolution and the fact that there more hominids that co-existed in the early part of history, one of which can be the direct ancestor of present day humans.
The Ardipithecus ramidus is another close ancestor of humans on the basis of being classified as a hominid and related to the species Australopithecus anamensis. The manner of bi-pedalism is still needed to be cleared through further discoveries of similar specimens. The brain is small or ‘pint-sized’ (Lemonick and Dorfman part 3 par. 3-6). On the other hand, the Australopithecus anamensis is recognized as a direct decendant of the A. afarensis where Lucy belongs. The said species is bi-pedal and upright but with a very distinct walk that cannot be compared to present species either of primates or humans. The group also has short legs (Lemonick and Dorfman part 4 par. 1-3).
The two species connect the line of hominids and the ape ancestors. Through the discovery of the two species, the ancestors of humans can be recognized either as direct descendants of the group or some yet to be discovered groups that are related.
Based on the discovery of the three species, it can be considered that the human evolution is not a special case in nature just because there is only a single species that is present today. The discovery of a new distinct genus of hominid gave a new perspective of the fact that there are other hominids in the early part of history which may even co-existed prior to the rise of the present day humans.

Works Cited:
Brunet, Michel et. al. “A New Hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa.” Nature 418 (2002): 145-151.
Fagan, Brian, M. Ancient Lives. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2004.
Kestenbaum, David. NPR radio interview by Robert Siegel. 10 July 2002.
Lemonick, Michael D. and Andrea Dorfman. “Up From the Apes.” Times 23 August 1999. 12 December 2009 Read More
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