The trickster god has been busy of late, fabricating and planting a new fossil for Jesus-hating physical anthropologists to crow about. This one from a rare and incredibly useful diagnostic region of the body for scientists studying human/primate origins:
(NYT) — Yohannes Haile-Selassie, a paleoanthropologist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio, and his colleagues said the species the foot belonged to remains undetermined, for lack of any cranial or dental remains associated with the specimen. But they said the foot was strikingly similar to the earlier hominin Ardipithecus ramidus, nicknamed Ardi, which lived 4.4 million years ago, also in what is now Ethiopia.
We tend of think of our hands as the preiminent extremisity in human evolution, we are after all Man the Tool User. But it’s actually our feet that have been most radically reworked by evolution.
Feet are hard to find. The bones are small, they fall away easily. Or they make a yummy little morsel for carnivores and scavengers of all sizes. The bones may be small, but finding fossilized hominid foot bones is a pretty big deal.
If the foot belongs to Ardipethicus ramidus it shows that that species was co-extant with Australopithecus afarensis, more commonly known by the holotype fossil called Lucy. If so Ardi and Lucy represent two fairly different types of early humans, one that still relied on forests for most of its subsistence, and afarensis which was more adapted to the growing plains and is more similar to anatomically modern humans.
Or so Satan would have you believe.