Lovejoy and team discover new hominid skeleton

Jenna Staul

Anthropology professor Owen C. Lovejoy and a team of colleagues announced today the discovery of a 3.6 million-year-old partial skeleton of early human species from Ethiopia.

A press release from the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage said the male specimen, named Kadannuumuu, stood between 5 feet to 5-and-a-half feet tall and belonged to the Australopithecus afarensis species — the same species of the hominid “Lucy,” which Lovejoy helped reconstruct. This latest skeleton is more than 400,000 years older than “Lucy.”

“‘Kadanuumuu’ is about as complete as ‘Lucy,'” Lovejoy said. “They both have pelves, a complete lower limb bone and elements of the forelimb, vertebral column and thorax. However, the new speciment has more complete ribs and a nearly complete scapula (shoulder blade), which tells us much more about ody form than ‘Lucy’ was able to to.”

Contact editor Jenna Staul at [email protected].