Ancient Human Relative Walked Upright 7 Million Years Ago

In summary, a new analysis of fossilized remains of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a species that lived seven million years ago, suggests that it was a habitual biped. This supports the theory that bipedalism was a key milestone in the evolution of humans from apes. This finding makes Sahelanthropus possibly the oldest known hominin, surpassing the previous record held by Turkana boy (1.6 million years old). Lucy (3.1 million years old) and Ardi (4.4 million years old) are also mentioned as notable examples of early bipeds for comparison.
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pinball1970
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TL;DR Summary
A blackened, broken leg bone from Earth’s prehistoric past may hold the answer to when early humans diverged from apes and started their own evolutionary path.
"The fossilized find, first uncovered two decades ago, suggests that early humans regularly walked on two feet some seven million years ago. This new analysis, published today in Nature, makes a strong case that Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a species that lived during the critical time when our human lineage diverged from the chimps, habitually walked on two legs. Since many consider bipedalism the major milestone that put our own lineage on a different evolutionary path than the apes, Sahelanthropus could be the very oldest known hominin—the group consisting of modern humans, extinct human species and all of our immediate ancestors."

Paper here.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41... leg bone,finally making its scientific debut.

Full article here.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scie...walked-upright-7-million-years-ago-180980628/

Some information on Turkana boy (Homo ergaster) 1.6 million years old and Lucy (Au. Afarensis) 3.1 million years old, for comparison.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkana_Boy

https://iho.asu.edu/about/lucys-sto... upright?,several traits unique to bipedality.

And Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus) (4.4 million years old)

https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/ardipithecus-ramidus
 
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This recent discovery of a seven-million-year-old femur belonging to Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a species that lived during the crucial time when our human lineage diverged from chimps, is a groundbreaking find. This analysis, published in Nature, provides strong evidence that this ancient human relative was capable of habitual bipedalism, a defining characteristic of our human lineage.

Bipedalism is considered a major milestone in human evolution, as it allowed our ancestors to free their hands for tool use and eventually led to the development of complex societies. Sahelanthropus could potentially be the oldest known hominin, which includes modern humans, extinct human species, and all of our immediate ancestors.

This discovery sheds light on the evolutionary path of our species and adds to our understanding of the early stages of human evolution. It also provides further evidence that bipedalism was a crucial adaptation for our ancestors and played a significant role in shaping our species.

To put this into perspective, Turkana boy (Homo ergaster) is estimated to be 1.6 million years old and Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) is estimated to be 3.1 million years old. Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus), a previous discovery of an early human ancestor, is estimated to be 4.4 million years old. This seven-million-year-old femur significantly predates these well-known early human ancestors and adds to our understanding of the timeline of human evolution.

Overall, this discovery is a significant contribution to the study of human evolution and highlights the importance of continued research and exploration in this field. It also raises new questions and avenues for further investigation into the origins of our species.
 

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