Between 1992 and 1994 White and his team discovered the first Ardipithecus ramidus fossils in the Middle Awash area of Ethiopia. They named their discovery Ardipithecus ramidus (‘ramid’ means ‘root’ in the Afar language of Ethiopia and refers to the closeness of this new species to the roots of humanity, while ‘Ardi’ means ‘ground’ or ‘floor’). White devised the genus name Ardipithecus to distinguish this new genus from Australopithecus.
The first Ardipithecus ramidus fossil found was dated to 4.4 million years BP on the basis of its stratigraphic position between two volcanic strata.
Subjects: ANTHROPOLOGY › Physical Anthropology, COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Ethiopia, EVOLUTION › Human Origins / Human Evolution
The authors provide evidence that Ardipithecus may be the beginning of the evolutionary pathway that eventually led to hominids. This pathway was distinct from the evolutionary pathway that led to extant African apes.
Subjects: ANTHROPOLOGY › Paleoanthropology, EVOLUTION › Human Origins / Human Evolution