Archaeology Magazine

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Hominid Traits Suggested for A. ramidus Skull

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

(Michael Keesey, Wikimedia Commons)KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE—The skull base of 4.4 million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus was short and broad, with a forward-placed opening for the spinal cord, according to a reconstruction of a partial skull base by William Kimbel of Arizona State University. Such features are exclusive to hominids and modern humans. This skull was discovered in 1994, before Ardi, the partial skeleton of an adult female, was first described in 2009. A new analysis of Ardi’s pelvis, which has a mix of monkey, ape, and hominid characteristics, further suggests that Ardipithecus ramidus probably had a slow, two-legged gait on the ground, in addition to tree-climbing abilities.