Research highlight

Analysing the early human habitat

Nature Communications

December 21, 2011

Early humans lived in a river-margin forest in a wooded grassland landscape at Aramis, Ethiopia suggests a study published in Nature Communications this week. This finding is in contrast to the previous interpretation of early humans habiting a woodland environment far from a river. Knowledge of the habitat of early humans is key to answering the questions of early hominin evolution, including the development of bipedalism. Ardipithecus ramidus is a 4.4 million year old hominin found at Middle Awash, Ethiopia. Royhan Gani and Nahid Gani studied the habitat of Ar. ramidus interpreting the data to suggest the presence of major rivers and river-margin vegetation. This would place Ar. ramidus in a river-margin habitat part of an otherwise savannah landscape. Understanding the landscape inhabited by Ar. ramidus will help assess the different theories for the development of early humans.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms1610

Return to research highlights

PrivacyMark System