'Hominins walked like modern humans, climbed like apes'

Left block of images The 3.32 million year old foot from an Australopithecus afarensis toddler shown in different angles. Right block of images The child's foot compared with the fossil remains of an adult Australopithecus foot. Credi

Selam is a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species-an extinct hominin thought to be an ancestor of our own genus, Homo, or possibly a close ancestral relative. With his team, he has carefully examined the foot fossil of a two-and-a-half-year-old living 3 million years ago.

Her almost complete skeleton was discovered in the Dikika region of Ethiopia in 2002 by Zeresenay Alemseged, paleontologist and professor of organismal biology and anatomy and the University of Chicago. But freeing Selam from the ground took years. She was encased in sediment that was millions of years old, and researchers had to be extremely careful.

"For the first time, we have an wonderful window into what walking was like for a (2.5)-year-old, more than 3 million years ago", Jeremy DeSilva, an associate professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H. and lead author in the study, said in a statement. The professor found a skull, nearly a complete vertebral column with ribs, shoulder bones, part of her arms and legs and the foot.

Alemseged, a University of Chicago professor and senior study author, agrees: "The Dikika foot adds to the wealth of knowledge on the mosaic nature of hominin skeletal evolution".

The Dikika foot is one part of a partial skeleton of a 3.32 million-year-old skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis child. But there are ape-like features about afarensis, as well. As well as scaling trees, the ancient toddler's feet suggest she used to cling to her mother. A 2016 study of what might have caused her death estimates that she was 15 or 16 years old. The pair lived upwards of 120,000 years apart.

Given afarensis' size, predators such as hyenas, jackals and saber-toothed cats would have posed a threat. "I can't image how they would have survived if they didn't go into the trees at night". That's an inference based on the fact there is no evidence of fire or construction for another million years in Africa, said DeSilva. If you saw her walking from afar, you would think Lucy was human by her silhouette. What's more, the toddler found in Dikika, Ethiopia, was probably better at climbing than her parents.

DeSilva said his research also reveals the toddler would have been quite skilled at walking on two feet, based on the shape of the foot.

Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) reportedly set to part ways with Thunder
The Towson Catholic graduate's relationship with the team has soured in the year since he was traded to Oklahoma City. The stretch provision spreads Anthony's salary annually onto the Thunder's cap for $9.3 million over three years.

Thomas jobless rate rises to 5.5% in June
The figure for aircraft imports more than tripled to $937 million due to the purchase of several airliners from the U.S. The public sector has increased its membership by 11 800 jobs, while the private sector lost 2,000 employees.

Suzuki Jimny fully revealed ahead of debut
There's also Suzuki's familiar Bluetooth Smartphone Linkage Display Audio unit with a 7-inch touchscreen on top models. Short overhangs front and rear make for an approach angle of 37 degrees and a departure angle of 49 degrees.

This finding challenges the long-held assumption that A. afarensis was exclusively bipedal (using only two legs for walking) and only occasionally climbed into trees. They found the big toe was more capable of moving side-to-side than skeletons of similar adult feet, meaning it would be better at climbing through branches and latching onto its mother.

The fossilized foot is as small as a human thumb. Shoulder blades are an incredibly rare find because they're delicate, nearly paper thin, and don't usually fossilize.

The paleontologists managed to recover the whole skeleton of this primitive female toddler and started to study it to shed more light on the human evolution.

"Understanding if climbing was part of a species' adaptation and to what extent are crucial", Alemseged said.

The fossil record shows that these ancient ancestors were adept at walking upright.

Written by Ashley Strickland for CNN.

Related News:

  • Skyrim Switch Mods Aren't Coming Anytime Soon

    Skyrim Switch Mods Aren't Coming Anytime Soon

    This achievement marks Skyrim's peak player count in the last six months, a staggering seven years since its 2011 release. Bethesda thus is still not paying any attention to mod support for Skyrim which is a sad piece of news for avid gamers.
    Romelu Lukaku shows he is capable of more than just scoring

    Romelu Lukaku shows he is capable of more than just scoring

    At the other end, Costa tested Courtois, but the Belgians were starting to look increasingly comfortable. A booking - if he got one for diving - would have ruled him out of the semifinals.

    England roar into World Cup semis

    England have been backed to win the World Cup by Sweden head coach Janne Andersson. "I don't think anything went wrong. We worked on that in training so credit to the staff".
  • Man assaults teen wearing 'MAGA' hat at San Antonio Whataburger restaurant

    Man assaults teen wearing 'MAGA' hat at San Antonio Whataburger restaurant

    In the video posted to social media , Jimenez can be heard saying at one point to the victim: "You ain't supporting (expletive)". Whataburger, a San Antonio-based fast food chain, said in a statement that none of its employees were involved in the incident.
    Supreme Court contender Kethledge enters spotlight as conservatives look for ‘Gorsuch 2.0’

    Supreme Court contender Kethledge enters spotlight as conservatives look for ‘Gorsuch 2.0’

    To do so, it's worth considering the views of the man who will spearhead the confirmation battle, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, advisers believe, all of Trump's finalists can earn the support of the president's party, and ultimately confirmation.
    Russian Federation  salutes ‘heroes’ after Croatia ends World Cup dream

    Russian Federation salutes ‘heroes’ after Croatia ends World Cup dream

    Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara. The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St.
  • Trump to Unveil Court Pick Monday

    Trump to Unveil Court Pick Monday

    However, compared to the other candidates on Trump's short list, Hardiman's overall ideological views are more moderate. Trump had discussed the nomination with Vice President Mike Pence in Bedminster, New Jersey yesterday.
    Baby Trump Balloon Approved By London Mayor To Be Flown During Visit

    Baby Trump Balloon Approved By London Mayor To Be Flown During Visit

    A Twitter account used by the organizers quipped that Khan "tried to play hard ball - in the end he had to make a Deal". After his comments, Trump attacked Khan, saying he was the one who was "ignorant" and challenging him to an IQ test.
    Wimbledon 2018: Novak Djokovic CRITICISES Centre Court crowd after Kyle Edmund victory

    Wimbledon 2018: Novak Djokovic CRITICISES Centre Court crowd after Kyle Edmund victory

    Nothing against Kyle there. "It was quite a odd decision from the chair umpire, but it happens". 'You need television to see it. I expected them to support Kyle, obviously. "When you're at Centre Court, to have the crowd behind you is a great thing".
  • The rise in the USA  unemployment rate isn’t bad news

    The rise in the USA unemployment rate isn’t bad news

    The retail industry's woes were also reflected in employment, as vendors cut 21,600 positions, the biggest drop since December. After revisions, job gains averaged 211,000 over the past three months, as the job market was approaching full employment.

    Labor secretary says more Americans entering workforce

    According to the BLS report , titled "The Employment Situation-June 2018", total nonfarm employment increased by 213,000 in June. Minutes of the Fed's June 12-13 policy meeting published on Thursday offered an upbeat assessment of the labor market.
    Two US warships move into Taiwan Strait

    Two US warships move into Taiwan Strait

    Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island's main source of arms. USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the destroyers Mustin and Benfold carried out the passage.


Most liked

England 'absolutely good enough' to win World Cup says Sweden's Janne Andersson
The Three Lions 2-0 win over Sweden means they've reached their first semi-final in 28 years. And while both teams , drinking side-by-side, were civil enough during the game.

Rudy Giuliani says Michael Cohen should cooperate with federal investigators
He argued that regardless, it wasn't a campaign contribution and thus did not violate campaign finance laws. President Donald Trump , exits the Loews Regency Hotel, May 11, 2018 in New York City.

Hsieh casts spell on Halep to cause Wimbledon shock
"At 2-5 down in the final set, it was a lot of support from the crowd, and they pushed me to fight from there". It's the first time in the Open era that none of the top five women's seeds have made the last 16 of a Slam.

England coach Southgate won't quit after World Cup
Up and down the country, millions of fans back home danced, jumped and screamed with joy. "It is an incredible feeling". He spoke of a squad of players who will do anything for each other and who want to work and to learn.

First Thailand boys rescued two weeks after being trapped in cave
They are now expecting to be "preparing for the first and strongest of the team for the perilous underwater extraction". There are fears the rain may flow into the cave, potentially hampering rescue efforts.

Pick your England XI for Croatia semi-final
Croatia's strength clearly lies in the central-midfield department that includes Real's Luka Modric and Barca's Ivan Rakitic. Before this World Cup , casual observers, if they knew him at all, were likely familiar with Denis Cheryshev for two things.

Dozens missing after boats capsize in Thailand
Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said officials would consider whether to ban boats from going to sea during strong winds. Helicopters yesterday afternoon scanned the water in what appeared to be an increasingly forlorn hunt for survivors.

Hales leads England to dramatic win over India
Instead, they might back Yuzvendra Chahal to deliver any initial spin overs, despite being taken for runs in Manchester. Indian captain Virat Kohli said: "They did their homework and played really well".

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg overtakes Warren Buffett as world's third richest person
The data was harvested by an application developed by a British academic, Aleksandr Kogan. Zuckerberg is still behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates .

Putin invites Team Russia players, head coach to discuss World Cup results
Fans spilling out of bars chanted "Russia" in the street and danced as music blared. "Our boys, they really did great". Modric said Subasic told him that the injury should not be a major factor as Croatia prepare for their semifinal.

Toyota unveils new Supra to run in Xfinity Series in 2019
But the fact of the matter here is that, in the coming season, Toyota's entry to the NASCAR has got the all-new Supra face. Toyota has announced that the new Supra sports auto will be among the cars that race the NASCAR Xfinity Series .

UFC 226 Results: Heavyweight Championship- Stipe Miocic Vs Daniel Cormier
I also think just mixing in the takedown and just having that threat of the takedown, can shut down a fighter's offense. Prior to the fight, Joe Rogan heard Lesnar tell Dana White that he wanted the victor of the fight. "In the stone age".

Nadal, Djokovic into Wimbledon fourth round
Adrian Mannarino came through in five sets against Daniil Medvedev , winning 6-4 6-3 4-6 5-7 6-3 to set up a clash with Federer. The 17-time Grand Slam champion needed to reach the last 16 here to stay on top when the next rankings are released on 16 July.

North Korea Calls Talks 'Regrettable' After U.S. Says Progress Was Made
During the second day of his visit, an expected meeting between Pompeo and Kim Jong-un failed to materialize. North Korean officials have yet to demonstrate that in working-level talks, the intelligence officials said.

The Superfight: Champions Cormier, Miocic collide at UFC 226
Brock stormed the octagon following Cormier's challenge and pushed "DC" immediately upon his arrival onto the canvas. If you're a cord cutter or don't bother with cable these days, then the obvious option is the UFC Fight Pass .