Fossils foot bones hint at mystery walker
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC New
Scientists have obtained a fascinating new insight into the evolution of humans and our ability to walk.It comes from the fossilised bones of a foot that were discovered in Ethiopia and dated to be 3.4 million years old.The researchers say they do not have enough remains to identify the species of hominin, or human ancestor, from which the right foot came.But they tell Nature journal that just the shape of the bones shows the creature could walk upright at times.The fossil haul consists of eight elements from the forefoot - bones such as metatarsals and phalanges.The specimens were pulled from clay sediments at Burtele in the central Afar region, about 520km north-east of the capital Addis Ababa.It is a significant discovery because it demonstrates there was more than one pre-human species living in East Africa between three and four million years ago, each with its own method of moving around.The other creature was the famous "Lucy" animal (Australopithecus afarensis), whose remains were first identified in the Afar in the 1970s.
The team says the animal's morphology is reminiscent in some respects to a 4.4-million-year-old creature known as Ardipithecus ramidus. Although, again, it is not ramidus."It may be a relic species that was lingering around until 3.4 or 3.3 million years ago, and which had its origins way back in Ardipithecus ramidus times," suggested team leader Dr Yohannes Haile-Selassie.
Read rest see pics here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17533826
So yet another species of relic hominin found. It does help those who think Bigfoot is a relic hominin though as it could indeed be a yet unidentified species.