Dating in paleontology

A partial tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones) is strong evidence of bipedality, and a lower humerus (the upper arm bone) is extremely humanlike.

For a good discussion of the hominid/hominin terminology issue, read this article by Lee Berger.

This species was named Australopithecus ramidus in September 1994 (White et al.

1994; Wood 1994) from some fragmentary fossils dated at 4.4 million years.

Some apes occurring within that time period, such as Ramapithecus, used to be considered as hominids, and possible ancestors of humans.

Later fossil finds indicated that Ramapithecus was more closely related to the orang-utan, and new biochemical evidence indicated that the last common ancestor of hominids and apes occurred between 5 and 10 million years ago, and probably in the lower end of that range (Lewin 1987).

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It lived in a woodland environment with patches of forest, indicating that bipedalism did not originate in a savannah environment.

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