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:
TAG: Soil suggests early humans lived forests instead grasslands

(Date:8/21/2014)... pancreas digesting itself resulting in severe abdominal pain, vomiting ... 20,000 patients are diagnosed with the disease resulting in ... is restricted to intravenous fluid and nutritional support. ... Sciences, who led the research, said "The major causes ... and excessive alcohol intake combined with a high fat ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... SALT LAKE CITY Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) ... mutated forms of the gene that encodes BCR-ABL, the ... (CML). According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 6,000 ... , Drugs already in use, called tyrosine kinase inhibitors ... disease. They do not cure CML but control it ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... State University, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the ... Mycobacterium pinnipedii from skeletons found in Peru ... is a relative of the TB bacterium that affects ... These researchers assume that seals carried the pathogens from ... lions was unexpected" comments Sebastien Gagneux, from the Swiss ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Insulin offers new hope for the treatment of acute pancreatitis 2Blueprint for next generation of chronic myeloid leukemia treatment 2
(Date:8/21/2014)... 2014 Telomere Biosciences, LLC (Telomere Biosciences) ... for Dogs" with Telomerase Activation Complex , ... world for dogs. Telomeres are the protective caps ... body. A wealth of ground-breaking research by some ... and Aging, including Nobel laureates, has demonstrated a ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... , Aug. 21, 2014 ... Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company, on its ... Immune previously traded on OTCQX®, the best marketplace ... OTC Markets Group. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110118/MM31963LOGO ... on the successful execution of its growth strategy ...
(Date:8/21/2014)... Ontotext S4 , The Self Service Semantic ... Now the same enterprise hardened text mining, Linked Data ... is available to start-ups and mid-size businesses at a ... do not have resources to evaluate and prototype enterprise ... there is no need for on premise hardware provisioning ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... RALEIGH, N.C. , Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... clinical research services located in Raleigh, ... Bradford Evans as Vice President of ... Administration, Brad will oversee all corporate processes, including ... to joining Clintrax Global, Brad worked as an ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-20 for Dogs, the World's First Telomere-Lengthening Supplement for Dogs, to Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity 2Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-20 for Dogs, the World's First Telomere-Lengthening Supplement for Dogs, to Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity 3OTC Markets Group Congratulates Immune Pharmaceuticals on NASDAQ Listing 2Ontotext Releases Text Mining & Semantic Technology Running in the Cloud – Welcome to “S4? 2Ontotext Releases Text Mining & Semantic Technology Running in the Cloud – Welcome to “S4? 3Ontotext Releases Text Mining & Semantic Technology Running in the Cloud – Welcome to “S4? 4Clintrax Global, Inc. Announces Addition to Executive Team 2
Cached News: