A new Australopithecus species found in Ethiopia
The scientific world is abuzz over news of the discovery of a new Australopithecus species that’s been unearthed in Ethiopia.
An international team led by the Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History announced the discovery earlier this week in the journal, Nature.
“The fossils that we found include two lower jaw and two upper jaw fragments. We estimate the age of these fossils to be between 3.3-million years ago and 3.5-million years,” said team leader, Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie in a video on the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s website.
The new species has been named Australopithecus deyiremeda.
This hominin is believed to have lived alongside the famous “Lucy’s” species, Australopithecus afarensis. The jaw fragments were found in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia. In fact, “deyiremeda” means “close relative” in the language spoken in the Afar region.
“The new species is yet another confirmation that Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, was not the only potential human ancestor species that roamed in what is now the Afar region of Ethiopia during the middle Pliocene,” the lead author continued.
Australopithecus deyiremeda is not the oldest Australopithecus specimen in the world. Maropeng's famous Little Foot skeleton was recently dated at 3.67-million years old. Little Foot is recognised as the most complete Australopethicus skeleton ever found.