HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Soil suggests early humans lived in forests instead of grasslands

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Carbon isotope evidence in almost 6-million-year-old soils suggests that the earliest humans already were evolving in and likely preferred humid forests rather than grasslands, report a team of scientists working in Ethiopia.

The discovery challenges long-held beliefs, beginning with Darwin, that humans did not evolve into upright beings and thrive until expanding tropical grasslands forced our chimpanzee-like ancestors out of dwindling forests about 4 million to 8 million years ago.

Hominid fossil sites from the later Pliocene period (2.5 million to 4.2 million years ago) previously had been found in savanna habitats. Researchers had been confident that the slightly earlier hominids living in the late Miocene also would be found in the savanna.

The expectation was that we would find hominids in savanna grassland sites that date back to about 8 million years ago. That hasnt happened, said anthropologist Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois. All older hominids have been found in forested environments.

The analysis was of fossil soils from paleontological sites in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopias rift valley, where the remains of a new subspecies of Ardipithecus ramidus have been discovered. They date to the late Miocene period (5.4 million to 5.8 million years ago). Scientists from four institutions report their findings in a pair of papers that appear in the July 12 issue of the journal Nature.

Ambrose collected fossil soil samples from the layers containing the newly found hominids. One of the fossils was found by team member Leslea Hlusko, also a UI professor of anthropology. Ambrose performed geochemical studies on the samples in his UI laboratory.

The region where the fossils were found is now a hot, dry semi-desert occupied by nomadic camel herders. At the time the area formed, it was higher in elevation, cooler, wetter and more forested.

Ambroses geochemical technique allows for a
'"/>

Contact: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
b-james3@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
11-Jul-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Research suggests new avenue for stopping, preventing colon cancer
2. New sign language suggests children create languages fundamentals through learning
3. New research suggests early diet may play key role in protecting against childhood leukaemia
4. New research suggests link between maternal diet and childhood leukemia risk
5. Research suggests unborn children may be at risk from environmental pollution
6. Study suggests cell-cycle triggers might be cancer drug targets
7. Computer imaging of Archeopteryx skull suggests this dinosaur-bird link could fly
8. Study suggests humans can speed evolution
9. Droughts like 1930s Dust Bowl may have been unexceptional in prehistoric times, new study suggests
10. Genetic model for devastating form of paraplegia suggests new treatments
11. New research suggests previously unrecognized mechanism by which blood vessels are patterned

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... -- Elevay is currently known as the ... high net worth professionals seeking travel for work   ... there is still no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. ... deal with a firm handshake. This is why wealthy ... citizenship via investment programs like those offered by the ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled ... cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous ... (CTCs). The new test has already been incorporated ... multiple cancer types. Over 230 clinical ... response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: