‘First human’ discovered in Ethiopia

Ethics Asylum

Scientists have unearthed the jawbone of what they claim is one of the very first humans.

The 2.8 million-year-old specimen is 400,000 years older than researchers thought that our kind first emerged.

The discovery in Ethiopia suggests climate change spurred the transition from tree dweller to upright walker.

The head of the research team told BBC News that the find gives the first insight into “the most important transitions in human evolution”.

Prof Brian Villmoare of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas said the discovery makes a clear link between an iconic 3.2 million-year-old hominin (human-like primate) discovered in the same area in 1974, called “Lucy”.

Could Lucy’s kind – which belonged to the species Australopithecus afarensis – have evolved into the very first primitive humans?

“That’s what we are arguing,” said Prof Villmoare.

But the fossil record between the time period when Lucy and her kin were alive…

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