Sat. Feb 24th, 2024
Extinct Human Ancestor Walked Upright: Evidence from 50 Years Ago

Anthropologist D. Carl Johanson unearthed a skull fragment, shin and thigh bones of an ancient hominid in Ethiopia that are estimated to be 3 million years old. The bones belonged to an ape man of the genus Australopithecus. At a news conference, the 30-year-old scientist stated, “We have absolute, concrete evidence that our ancestors walked on two legs over 3 million years ago.”

Recent fossil analyses suggest that several hominid species ambled around on two legs about 5 million to 7 million years ago. An upper leg bone of the oldest known, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, bears signs of upright walking including an inner projection near the hip joint. However, not all paleoanthropologists are convinced those features prove a two-legged gait. Some scientists think the bone belonged to an ape that may have walked upright at times.

Furthermore, questions or comments on this article can be directed to Maria Temming is the assistant editor at Science News Explores after previously being the staff writer for physical sciences at Science News. She has bachelor’s degrees in physics and English and a master’s in science writing. This article was supported by readers like you who invest in quality science journalism by donating today.

By Editor

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