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Thursday, October 1

And in evolution news.... so much for the "missing link"

Oldest "Human" Skeleton Found--Disproves "Missing Link"

Jamie Shreeve
National Geographic magazine
October 1, 2009
Move over, Lucy. And kiss the missing link goodbye.

Scientists today announced the discovery of the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor. The find reveals that our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million years before Lucy, the iconic early human ancestor specimen that walked the Earth 3.2 million years ago (interactive time line: how the new discovery changes human evolutionary theory).

The fossil puts to rest the notion, popular since Darwin's time, that a chimpanzee-like missing link—resembling something between humans and today's apes—would eventually be found at the root of the human family tree. Indeed, the new evidence suggests that the study of chimpanzee anatomy and behavior—long used to infer the nature of the earliest human ancestors—is largely irrelevant to understanding our beginnings.

Ardi instead shows an unexpected mix of advanced characteristics and of primitive traits seen in much older apes that were unlike chimps or gorillas. Continued.
Well this should make some people very happy.

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