GENUS: Ardipithecus (“ground ape”)
Ardipithecus ramidus (4.4 mya)
(“GROUND APE” / “AT THE ROOT” IN AFAR LANGUAGE)
DISCOVERY AND GEOGRAPHIC RANGE
- Elevated shoulder joints for reaching up for branches, etc.
- Long arms and long, curved fingers.
- Mobile wrists.
- Poorly differentiated thumb, meaning that they had poor opposability.
Review of Primitive Characteristics
- Small brain and flat cranial base.
- Thin molar enamel.
- Climbing complex of upper limb:
- Elevated shoulder joint.
- Long arms.
- Long and curved fingers.
- Low manual dexterity.
- Divergent hallux.
Review of Derived Characteristics
- Anteriorly oriented foramen magnum.
- Bipedal hip, leg, and foot characteristics.
ENVIRONMENT AND WAY OF LIFE
Ardipithecus kadabba (5.8 mya)
(“GROUND APE” / “OLDEST ANCESTOR” IN AFAR LANGUAGE)