View Full Version : Australopithecus sediba casts doubt on Lucy being human ancestor

12-04-13, 11:42
South African anthropologist Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and his colleagues have identified a new genus of hominids, which they named Australopithecus sediba.

ScienceNews : Possible human ancestor in Australopithecus sediba (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/349599/description/News_in_Brief_Possible_human_ancestor_in_Australop ithecus_sediba)

A. sediba’s teeth suggest that this hominid evolved into a Homo species but had no links to earlier East African hominids often regarded as Homo ancestors. Those hominids include 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis, best known for Lucy’s partial skeleton. A. sediba’s relatively long arms were suited to hanging out in trees, consistent with its narrow, apelike upper rib cage. But these hominids also had narrow, humanlike lower rib cages and lower backs that were longer and more flexible than those of people today. A. sediba probably walked awkwardly with its feet rolling inward and slightly pigeon-toed.

If only they were able to test the Y-DNA and/or mtDNA of Australopithecus it would solve once and for all the question of who our ancestors were. There has been many interlapping genera of hominids since the split of our common ancestor with chimpanzees. Without DNA tests it may never be possible to determine from which of the six genera of Australopithecus so far identified we actually descend. I am looking forward to see the grand genetic family tree of the Hominidae.