The remains of an ancient human-like creature are said by scientists to come from the oldest pre-human species yet discovered.
Ardipithecus ramidus, or “Ardi” for short is not the long-sought missing link, the ancestor that paleontologists say humans and apes have in common, but it offers new insights into how we evolved. Professor Tim White of the Berkeley University of California said: “We can see that, as primitive as this creature is, it has already evolved those special characters indicating that it’s on our side of the family tree and that it is not on the chimpanzee side of the family tree, but it is not the common ancestor.” “Ardi” lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. The most complete skeleton, out of more than 30 found, was female and about four feet tall. The research team in charge of the project believes this particular ancestor may have existed much further back in time, possibly up to seven or nine million years ago.