Ardipithecus is extinct of the order Primate S and undoubtedly of the family of the Hominidé S (even if certain authors rather attach it to the line of the Panidé S). He lived between approximately 5,8 and 4,5 million years before the present, with the lower Pliocène. The fossils allotted to this Taxon are very fragmentary and come from East Africa (Ethiopia, Tanzania).
Phylogenetic positionThe first remainders allotted to Ardipithecus are fragments of jaw discovered by Tim White and her team in the average valley of Awash in Ethiopia in 1992. For the inventors, it is about an ancestor of the kind Homo because of a similarity of its teeth with those of the Australopithèque S. the fossils in question had initially been allotted besides to it.
However, like it shares a certain number of features with the large African monkeys (Chimpanzé S and Gorille S), certain authors rather locate it in the ascent of the chimpanzees than in that of the human ones.
In the absence of description of the remainders postcrâniens (whose phalange of the big toe), it is impossible to slice for the moment. In the same way, it is impossible to rule on the possible degree of bipédie or the lifestyle of this taxon.
Two subspecies or two speciesThe fossils attached to the kind Ardipithecus have a certain variability, interpreted differently according to the authors:
- some consider that they are two Sous-espèce S, that is to say Ardipithecus ramidus kaddaba and Ardipithecus ramidus ramidus ;
- of others, basing on the Canine S recently discovered in Ethiopia, thinks that they are two distinct species, that is to say Ardipithecus kaddaba and Ardipithecus ramidus .
- Tim D. White, Gen Suwa and Berhane Asfaw, “Australopithecus ramidus, has new species off early hominid from Aramis, Ethiopia”, Nature (1994), 371, pp. 306-312.
- Tim D. White, Gen Suwa and Berhane Asfaw, “Ardipithecus ramidus, has new species off early hominid from Aramis, Ethiopia”, Nature (1995), 375, p. 88.
- Paul R. Renne, Canchales Gabriel, William K. Binder, Grant Heiken, and Tim D. White, “Chronostratigraphy off the Miocene-Pliocene Sagantole Formation, Middle Awash Valley, Afarens rift, Ethiopia”, Geological Society off America Boletin , (1999), pp. 869-885.
- Sileshi Seaslug and Al , “Early Pliocene hominids from Gona, Ethiopia”, Natural , (2005), 433, pp. 301-305.
- At the origins of humanity , vol. 1, Y. Coppens and P. Picq (to dir.), Beech, (2001), ISBN 2-213-60369-3
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