New human ancestor species discovered in Afar region of Ethiopia
Scientists have discovered a new human ancestor species of Australopithecus deyiremeda in Afar region of Ethiopia.
The upper and lower jaw of the species was unearthed by an international team of scientists led by Dr Yohannes Haile-Selassie from Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
The radiometric and depositional rate analysis of fossils dates it around minimum and maximum ages of 3.3 and 3.5 million years.
Thus indicating that it lived alongside the famous Lucy (female Australopithecus afarensis discovered in 1974 in same region) up to 3.5 million-years ago. It should be noted that Lucy’s species lived from 2.9 million years to 3.8 million years ago.
The discovered species also indicates the presence of more than one closely related early human ancestor species the middle Pliocene prior to 3 million years ago.
The discovery also shows that Australopithecus deyiremeda species differed from Lucy’s species in terms of the shape and size. It had thick-enamelled teeth and the robust architecture of its lower jaws. Its anterior teeth are also relatively small indicating compared to Lucy species which shows that it probably had a different diet.