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Article
Nature 376, 565 - 571 (17 August 2002); doi:10.1038/376565a0

New four-million-year-old hominid species from Kanapoi and Allia Bay, Kenya

Meave G. Leakey*, Craig S. Feibel, Ian McDougall & Alan Walker§

*National Museums of Kenya, PO Box 40658, Nairobi, Kenya
Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903-0270, USA
Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
§Departments of Anthropology and Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

Nine hominid dental, cranial and postcranial specimens from Kanapoi, Kenya, and 12 specimens from Allia Bay, Kenya, are described here as a new species of Australopithecus dating from between about 3.9 million and 4.2 million years ago. The mosaic of primitive and derived features shows this species to be a possible ancestor to Australopithecus afarensis and suggests that Ardipithecus ramidus is a sister species to this and all later hominids. A tibia establishes that hominids were bipedal at least half a million years before the previous earliest evidence showed.

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