Ancient human ancestor climbed trees but also walked clumsily upright on the ground
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Scientists found eight toe bones in Ethiopia that belonged to a 3.4-million year-old human ancestor that could walk and climb trees.Y. Haile-Selassie/The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Stories about ancient times can be told by bones, and it doesn’t take many. Researchers needed only eight in the case of a new study on an old species. These bones, which had been buried in Ethiopia for 3.4 million years, were part of the toes of a newfound gorilla-like species.
Anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History worked on the new analyses of the bones. His studies explore the earliest human ancestors that walked upright. He told Science News that the newly discovered ancient species could climb trees and walk on two legs — although upright travel would have been difficult for this animal.