New ancestor grasped at walking

Foot fossils unveil a species that lived near Lucy’s kind

By Bruce Bower, 14:26 PM March 28, 2012

An ancient member of the human evolutionary family has put what’s left of a weird, gorillalike foot forward to show that upright walking evolved along different paths in East Africa.

A 3.4 million-year-old partial fossil foot unearthed in Ethiopia comes from a previously unknown hominid species that deftly climbed trees but walked clumsily, say anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and his colleagues. Their report appears in the March 29 Nature.


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