Million years ago fossil leakey dating
Our knowledge of human evolution is changing rapidly, as new fossils are discovered and described every year.
The oldest remains of this species, belonging to the subspecies kadabba, are from Ethiopian rocks dated at between 5.2 and 5.8 million years old.In addition, publication of the chimpanzee genome has allowed scientists to compare chimp and human genetic sequences, and to use the differences between them to estimate the date of divergence of the two species.The result suggests humans and chimps diverged "no more than 6.3 million years ago and perhaps even more recently than 5.4 million years ago" (Pennisi 2006). Its remains are fragmentary, consisting of some limb bones, partial jaw material, and a few teeth.The scientist Ernst Haeckel, for example, was convinced that humanity's nearest common ancestor was the orang-utan, and that humans evolved in Asia.Though wrong in this, he was a persuasive writer and many people came to accept his view.would be better placed in Australopithecus - an example of how rapidly our understanding of our evolutionary past is changing, and of the reviews, discussion and disagreements that characterise scientific research.
The best-known member of this species is "Lucy" , discovered in 1974 by Don Johanson & Tom Gray and estimated to be around 3.2 million years old (afarensis lived from 3.9 to 3 million years ago).
This is very close indeed to the likely human-chimpanzee split.
Michel Brunet's team describe Sahelanthropus as a hominid, for reasons including the shape and angle of the face and skull, and its dentition.
This rejection reflected the prevailing view that our large brain had evolved while the skeleton was still ape-like, and Dubois' suggestion that the reverse was true was sidelined.
The "large brain first" view received further support when the Piltdown fossils were presented to the world.
Now we know, through a combination of new fossil finds and molecular biology, that humans and chimpanzees diverged as little as 7 million years ago, and that our own lineage is "bushy", with many different species in existence at the same time.