Ardipithecus (Ardipithecus White et al., 1995)
Dimensions: height - 150 сm, weight - 65 kg
Temporal range: Early Pliocene of East Africa (5,8 - 4,4 million years ago)
A typical representative: Ardipithecus ramidus Owen, 1846
Ardipithecus ramidus – an ancient hominid genus, known from the Early Pliocene (about 5,8 – 4,4 million years ago). Since the genus Ardipithecuses have many similarities with Africana apes, some authors considered them more likely ancestors of chimpanzees than humans. However, most consider them the oldest human ancestors because of the similarity of the teeth with the teeth of Australopithecus. In addition, there is additional small calf-bone in Ardipithecus’s foot (os peroneum), which is present in the human foot, but is absent in the feet contemporary apes. Sometimes Ardipithecuses belong to early Australopithecus because their skull is somewhere between both of them. Judging by the size of bones, Ardipithecuses in their size were comparable to those of chimpanzees. Ardipithecuses lived in tropical forests and woodlands, they have been able to upright posture, but were able to climb trees. Ardipithecuses ate fruits and nuts.
Fragments of the Ardipithecus ramidus skeleton were first discover in the 1990s. Their age was determined from above and below the overlying volcanic rocks as 4,4 million years ago. An individual-possessor skeleton trove researches named «Ardy», which in Afar language means «land».