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:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development Company ... company of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation ... technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has ... from private investors. ... detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ... Hanover next week.   --> Germany ... the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its ... San Diego to help identify certain ... States . The test, designed to help determine the ... pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until May ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Morris Midwest ( ... for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical center, May 11-12. ... and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, accessories, software and other ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most ... devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and ... consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly a Vice President with US ... small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. NDA Partners Expert Consultants are ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group and the ... as other research and development initiatives for potential stem cell protocol management for 2016 ... Cells Group executives began meeting to establish a working agenda and foster initiatives to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: