A more complete skull and partial skeleton was discovered in late 1994 and based on that fossil, the species was reallocated to the genus Ardipithecus (White et al. This fossil was extremely fragile, and excavation, restoration and analysis of it took 15 years.It was published in October 2009, and given the nickname 'Ardi'. ramidus was about 120 cm (3'11") tall and weighed about 50 kg (110 lbs).Although the hominid fossil record is far from complete, and the evidence is often fragmentary, there is enough to give a good outline of the evolutionary history of humans.The time of the split between humans and living apes used to be thought to have occurred 15 to 20 million years ago, or even up to 30 or 40 million years ago.This species was named Australopithecus ramidus in September 1994 (White et al.1994; Wood 1994) from some fragmentary fossils dated at 4.4 million years.This species was named in August 1995 (Leakey et al. The material consists of 9 fossils, mostly found in 1994, from Kanapoi in Kenya, and 12 fossils, mostly teeth found in 1988, from Allia Bay in Kenya (Leakey et al. Anamensis existed between 4.2 and 3.9 million years ago, and has a mixture of primitive features in the skull, and advanced features in the body.The teeth and jaws are very similar to those of older fossil apes.
The skull has a very small brain size of approximately 350 cc. This mixture, along with the fact that it comes from around the time when the hominids are thought to have diverged from chimpanzees, suggests it is close to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.Ramapithecus therefore is no longer considered a hominid.The field of science which studies the human fossil record is known as paleoanthropology.Each species has a type specimen which was used to define it.This species was named in July 2002 from fossils discovered in Chad in Central Africa (Brunet et al. It is the oldest known hominid or near-hominid species, dated at between 6 and 7 million years old.A partial tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones) is strong evidence of bipedality, and a lower humerus (the upper arm bone) is extremely humanlike.Note that although the skull and skeletal bones are thought to be from the same species, this is not confirmed. afarensis existed between 3.9 and 3.0 million years ago. The skull is similar to that of a chimpanzee, except for the more humanlike teeth.The word "hominid" in this website refers to members of the family of humans, Hominidae, which consists of all species on our side of the last common ancestor of humans and living apes.Hominids are included in the superfamily of all apes, the Hominoidea, the members of which are called hominoids.It lived in a woodland environment with patches of forest, indicating that bipedalism did not originate in a savannah environment.A number of fragmentary fossils discovered between 19, and dating from 5.2 to 5.8 million years old, were originally assigned to a new subspecies, Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba (Haile-Selassie 2001), and later to a new species, Ardipithecus kadabba (Haile-Selassie et al. One of these fossils is a toe bone belonging to a bipedal creature, but is a few hundred thousand years younger than the rest of the fossils and so its identification with kadabba is not as firm as the other fossils.