Fossil remains belonging to some of humanity’s ancestors are much older than scientists thought and could shed new light on the timeline of evolution, according to a recent study by BBC.
Scientists claim that our ancestors roamed the planet more than a million years before the known history.
“The new timeline could redistribute the current understanding of human evolution,” the researchers said.
According to the Smithsonian Museum, the bipedal species was much smaller than modern humans. The average height of males was 1.38 cm and females 1.15 cm.
The researchers examined rainfall around the fossils to discover levels of a rare isotope that formed when the rocks were exposed to sunlight.
Recent fossils claim that groups of humans roamed the Earth 3.4 to 3.7 million years ago.
However, scientists have long believed that the species Australopithecus africanus, whose fossils were discovered in the Strikfontein Caves near Johannesburg, was less than 2.6 million years old.
Now they will have to calculate whether the species existed on Earth alongside the famous ape known as Lucy, whose remains are 3.2 million years old. In addition, researchers will need to determine whether Australopithecus afarensis, long thought to be the species from which early humans descended, was our only ancestor.
Scientists say the new findings somewhat challenge everything we previously knew about the origin of humans, suggesting that the evolutionary line is more complex than previously thought.
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