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


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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Leakey, M., Feibel, C., McDougall, I. et al. New four-million-year-old hominid species from Kanapoi and Allia Bay, Kenya. Nature 376, 565–571 (1995).

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