PHOTOS: Oldest "Human" Skeleton Refutes "Missing Link"

Ardipithecus
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Editor's note: At the request of illustrator J.H. Matternes and Science/AAAS, we are removing the illustrations of Ardipithecus ramidus that were once featured here. The illustrations may be viewed in a scientific paper.

So fragile they would turn to dust at a touch, the bones of the A. ramidus skeleton took 15 years to extricate from their surrounding rock, analyze, and compare with those of other individuals of the species found in the same deposits.

"Ardi," the nickname for the newly revealed A. ramidus skeleton, predates "Lucy," the well-known Australopithecus afarensis fossil, by more than a million years.
—Image courtesy Science/AAAS
 
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