Although no hominin remains were found at the site, the discoverers believe A. afarensis was responsible for the cut marks as no other hominin species dating to this period have been found in this region. Australopithecus afarensis used stone tools, according to the Found between 3.85 and 2.95 million years ago in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania), this species survived for more than 900,000 years, which is over four times as long as our own species has been around. "Most of the marks have features that indicate without doubt that they were inflicted by stone tools," explains Dr. Curtis Marean from the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, who performed the mark identifications. Although no hominin fossils were found in direct association with the Gona tools or the Bouri cut-marked bones, at nearby Hadar an upper jaw from an early Homo species was found in deposits dated to about 2.4 million years ago and most paleoanthropologists believe the tools were made and used only by early members of the genus Homo. Both are marred by cut, scrape, and percussion marks. In 2009, 3.4-million-year-old bones — found in Dikika, Ethiopia, near site where a Lucy-like hominin was discovered — with slashes, parallel marks and other cut marks that appear to have been made with stone tools, was presented as evidence that stone tools were produced more than 800,000 years than earlier thought and they could have been made by a possible human ancestor such as Lucy (Australopithecus … It probably used simple tools such as sticks found in the immediate surroundings and scavenged animal bones. One fossil is a rib fragment, the other a femur shaft fragment. ", "The bones come from 2 animals, one (a femur) the size of a goat and the other (a rib) at least the size of a cow," notes Marean. were covered by their respective institutions. "We can very securely say that the cut-marked bones date to between 3.42 and 3.24 million years ago, and that within this range, the date of the bones is most likely 3.4 million years ago," says project geologist Dr. Jonathan Wynn from the University of South Florida. "We can very securely say that the bones were marked by stone tools between 3.42 and 3.24 million years ago, and that within this range, the date is most likely 3.4 million years ago," says Wynn, a geologist at the University of South Florida. No actual tools were found so it is not known whether the 'tools' were deliberately modified or just usefully-shaped stones. The bones date to roughly 3.4 million years ago and provide the first evidence that Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, used stone tools and consumed meat. While working in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, Alemseged's "Dikika Research Project" team found fossilized bones bearing unambiguous evidence of stone tool use -- cut marks inflicted while carving meat off the bone and percussion marks created while breaking the bones open to extract marrow. The research is reported in the August 12 issue of the journal Nature. C4 CAM sources include grass, seeds, roots, underground storage organs, succulents, and perhaps creatures which ate those such as termites. An international team of researchers, including Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco (USA) and Dr. Shannon McPherron of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany), has discovered evidence that human ancestors were using stone tools and consuming the meat and marrow of large mammals 1 million years earlier than previously documented. California Academy of Sciences. "Our closest living relatives, the chimps and bonobos, don’t hunt or scavenge animals this size, so this suggests that the Dikika australopithecines had already begun to engage in hunting or scavenging larger mammals. 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Does parenting hamper the sex life of male black coucals? "Tool use fundamentally altered the way our earliest ancestors interacted with nature, allowing them to eat new types of food and exploit new territories. To determine the age of the bones, Wynn relied on a now very well documented and dated set of tuffs (volcanic deposits). Content on this website is for information only. "Now, when we imagine Lucy walking around the east African landscape looking for food, we can for the first time imagine her with a stone tool in hand and looking for meat," says Dr. Shannon McPherron, archaeologist with the DRP and research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. The location and age of the butchered bones from Dikika clearly indicate that a member of the A. afarensis species inflicted the cut marks, since no other hominin lived in this part of Africa at this time. "Now, when we imagine Lucy walking around the east African landscape looking for food, we can for the first time imagine her with a stone tool in hand and looking for meat," says Dr. Shannon McPherron, archeologist with the Dikika Research Project and research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. 3.4 million years old show evidence that this hominin used stone They were found a few hundred meters away from where Alemseged’s team previously discovered "Selam" ("Lucy’s baby"), a young Australopithecus afarensis girl who lived about 3.3 million years ago. "These developments had a huge impact on the story of humanity.". These same deposits were previously used to determine Selam's age, and they are well known from nearby Hadar, where Lucy was found. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. This could indicate that the Dikika residents were simply opportunistic about finding and using sharp-edged stones. Ethiopian paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged, currently chair of the Anthropology Department at the California Academy of Sciences, started the Dikika Research Project in 1999 and has annually conducted field seasons there with an international team of researchers specializing in paleoanthropology, palaeontology, geology, and archaeology. "Most of the marks have features that indicate without doubt that they were inflicted by stone tools," explains Dr. Curtis Marean from the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, who helped with the mark identifications. California Academy of Sciences. What is the hink-pink for blue green moray? The location and age of the stone tool-marked bones clearly indicate that members of the A. afarensis species made the cut marks. Stones may also have been used as tools, however, there is no evidence that these stones were shaped or modified. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. "The hominins at this site probably carried their stone tools with them from better raw material sources elsewhere. Additionally, the marks were consistent with the morphology of stone-inflicted cuts rather than tooth-inflicted marks. Australopithecus afarensis used stone tools, according to the California Academy of Sciences. "In light of these new finds, it is very likely that Selam carried stone flakes and helped members of her family as they butchered animal remains.". California Academy of Sciences. While working in the Afar region of Ethiopia, the Dikika Research Project (DRP) found bones bearing unambiguous evidence of stone tool use - cut marks made while carving meat off the bone and percussion marks created while breaking the bones open to extract marrow. Dubbed "Lucy's Daughter" by the international press, Selam was a young Australopithecus afarensis girl who lived about 3.3 million years ago and represents the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor discovered to date. This type of behavior sent us down a path that later would lead to two of the defining features of our species -- carnivory and tool manufacture and use.".
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