Discovering Ardi

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Discovering Ardi

Introduction The film viewed recently viewed in class titled “Discovering Ardi” and produced by Discovery Communications shows the breakthrough finding a full skeleton of a new hominid buried deep beneath the group in Ethiopia that links chimpanzees and apes to the modern day homo sapiens. The amazing discovery was lead by Tim White and his team in Ethiopia looking at ashes from millions of years ago in vast lakes, and scorching hot deserts in Hadar, Ethiopia when a molar tooth fossil was found dating 3.2 million years ago and later discovered a child’s jaw with molars attached. They named this individual Lucy and was noted to be one of humans’ first ancestors (Decorse,C.R &Scupin, R,2008). After learning Lucy was more evolved than a chimpanzee they continued to search for a new species dated further when they discovered a finger bone and later a 90 fossil bone skeleton belonging to who they call “Ardipithecus Ramidus”. Ardi was the first species ever found that is displayed a skeletal structure showing the linking connection between both chimps and humans, dating nearly four point four millions years back. She was the key to evolution.

Savanna Hypothesis In the 1800’s Charles Darwin, a physician of his time discovered the theory of natural selection, stating that a genetic change in population results in differential reproductive success through plants, and animals including humankind. Darwin concluded that humans had evolved through great apes by the process of natural selection. After many years of searching for ancient fossils to piece together evolution and Ardi was discovered, palaeoanthropologists have developed the “Savanna Hypothesis”, stating that the general difference between hominids and apes were caused by hominids being forced out of the forests and onto grasslands, developing a gradual way of life in bipedalism. This hypothesis has long been the conclusion to evolution and the upright walking species.



References: Decorse,C.R & Scupin, R. (2008). Anthropology: A Global Perspective. Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Prentice Hall. Discovering Communications. (2009). Discovering Ardi. Discovery Channel: Silver Springs, M.D.

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