Sahelanthropus TchadensisThe oldest candidate for the status of hominid is Sahelanthropus tchadensis, identified by a skull in Chad, northern Central Africa. Classified in 2002, this specimen is dated 7 to 6 million years ago. The hallmark of hominid class is generally considered to be moving upright on two legs. The skull of Sahelanthropus tchadensis does not indicate clearly whether the species had that feature, although the orientation and position of foramen magnum to front which is the hole through which the spine comes out of the skull, might suggest a normal upright posture. The most remarkable thing about the structure of the skull is the wide and flattened face, a feature very similar to the more recent hominids, along with a smaller skull with a shape similar to ape skull. This specimen has also small canines compared with those of apes, finding another similarity to hominids in functionality. It has not yet reached an agreement regarding its place in the family tree of man or rather 'family bush', but even if it is a hominid, it is very unlikely to be a direct ancestor of Homo sapiens.
Human evolution, it seems, it was a constant process of trials and errors. Historically, this was considered more or less direct so-called improvements in a single line, which eventually culminated with the image of the 'polished and finished' modern man. Human evolution has been throughout its history a matter of experimentation, new species emerging constantly and being thrown into the green arena to compete and often disappear. Viewed this way, we are rather the last surviving twig in a shrub branched vast and complicated than the single occupant of a peak that was climbed with difficulty and, in some way, somehow worth it.
Fossils discovered in the early 1990s began to provide clues about the complexity of hominid bush in the 3 million years since the appearance of Sahelanthropus. Three other new genres of early hominids such as Ardipithecus ramidus, Orrorin tugenesis and Kenyanthropus, dating back 6 to 3 million years ago have been recovered from Kenya and Ethiopia. In addition, in the second half of the twentieth century new species were added such as Australopithecus and Paranthropus, both known from sites in South Africa and Eastern Europe.
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