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:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle ... around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... -- As Ebola resurfaces in the Democratic Republic ... cases now reported, a new analysis of the Ebola gene ... between the 2014 and 2017 outbreaks of the disease.  ... which preceded the 2014 outbreak. An analysis of the latest ... in 2014-15, which again precedes the current outbreak in the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 ... ... the third year in a row in the Aragon Research Globe™ for Corporate ... that align with industry direction and market demand, and effectively perform against those ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased in a ... and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. Though ... year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation or treating ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... that it is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for Pathology ... 22-25. , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: